The Color Purple

Evolving Relationship Dynamics 12th Grade

As one grows and matures throughout their lifetime, countless relationships are created and changed. These shifting relationships help define who a person will ultimately be. Many of the reasons for relationship changes come from social situations and hardships that are faced and overcome. Celie is a character who faces adversity, learns valuable lessons, and prospers after her important relationships are altered. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple explores Celie’s complex relationships that form from romance, abuse, and kinship and the significance of these evolving relationships as they catalyze independence, growth, and intellect.

Celie’s relationship with her lover, Shug Avery, began as infatuation and initially contained an unhealthy amount of dependence, but it eventually granted her the discovery of independence and self-acceptance. Shug came into Celie’s life in a time of extreme hardship; she was unhappily married to Mr. ___, the abusive man her stepfather sold her to as a child. Celie had also been previously raped by her stepfather, Alphonso, leading to an intense loathing and distrust of men. When Mr. ___, whose name was Albert, brought home his youth heartthrob, Shug, Celie felt an immediate attraction despite Shug’s...

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