The Color Purple

The Color Purple: Literary Techniques Employed by Alice Walker to Develop Celie's Character

"It all I can do not to cry. I make myself wood. I say to myself, Celie, you a tree. That's how I know trees fear man," (23) uttered the protagonist of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Such words of meekness were characteristic of Celie's speech that is, in the beginning of the novel. As the novel progressed, however, Celie's acquiescent behavior transformed into one of resilience and dignity. By incorporating the literary techniques of tone, symbolism, and juxtaposition into her novel, Alice Walker was able to develop Celie's character, emphasizing her progression from subservience to independence.

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Tone serves as an important device in personifying a novel's character. Such is the case in The Color Purple. In her subservient state, Celie responded little, if at all, to the abuse she was exposed to. For instance, Celie stated in a despondent tone that whenever she had been forced to enter into sexual intercourse, she would apathetically yield, allowing either her Pa or Mr. ______ to "git up there and enjoy himself just the same. No matter what I'm thinking. No matter what I feel. It just him. Heartfeeling don't even seem to enter into it." (69) Celie's...

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