The Color Purple

Historical Relevance of The Color Purple 11th Grade

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple holds immense historical and societal relevance among a thirty year spectrum of time periods and movements, including the Harlem Renaissance, the gradual development of both civil and women’s rights, the destruction of rich African civilizations by European companies, and the onset of World War II. Over the course of a person’s lifetime, prominent social issues and their consequential historical significance go through an evolution of sorts, as new problems emerge with each new age. The life of Miss Celie, a poor, southern, black woman of the early to mid 1900s evolves with the issues of historical significance within her lifetime. Walker uses Celie as an emblem of what it meant to grow and develop in the United States during a time period in which slavery was a recently abolished practice. Celie represents, in a sense, an entire population of mistreated black women as they began to fight for their rights, find their pride and worth, and consequently refuse to stand for the abuse they had endured for so long. In stark contrast, Walker also uses Nettie’s journey to display the horrifying destruction of African culture by white Europeans in pursuit of power and wealth. In even further analysis and...

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