The Color Purple

What do these `` degree of darkness `` symbolize to them?

In the novel, many characters take note of the meklanin content in the skin of the others.

Is it associated with status?

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This is an interesting phenomenon. Many cultures today with people who have dark skin have varying degrees of melanin in their skin. This affects the amount of darkness. In The Colour Purple many characters take note of the varying shades of darkness. Darker skin denotes lower class while lighter skin denotes a higher more acceptable class. This is very much a western idea of beauty that has permeated into other cultures. We see this in countries like India as well.