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Talking to God in The Color Purple

Celie has a lot to talk to God about in "The Color Purple". The novel is really about Celie growing up. Her letters to God at first, are childlike. Eventually, with the help of both Shug and her sister Nettie (who has found her own adulthood with the natives in Africa) Celie becomes more a woman, even a black woman, and less a child. But, what does the color "purple" mean?

The title of the book is derived from a quote made by Shug. Celie writes that Shug says, "It pisses God off if a person walks past the color purple and does not marvel at it." (203) With that declaration, the color purple becomes entwined with religion for Celie. Celie struggles to find God and understand Him. Shug, the only person who pays attention to her, guides her to God and to 'see' how He is a part of everything. And Celie recognizes this just as the color purple demands to be noticed and enjoyed because it exists. In this fashion, one may come to identify Celie with the color purple by seeing how she has forcibly gone unnoticed and grows into a state of demanding to be noticed while she learns to assert and affirm her existence. As Celie grows into this new awareness of herself, the narrative turns to show how God notices Celie. Celie comes to the awakening that God is not some old white man with a beard, but rather, He is everywhere in everything.

This was the purpose of Shug's explanation of God to her. God does not live only in a church. God is nature. He is in every piece of dirt, stick, stone, rock, field, plant, animal, and, of course, He takes up residence in all human beings as His living creatures - no matter what their skin color, age, or position in life - the color purple.

Celie's awakening creates in her a sentiment that life itself is something to marvel over. By being aware of life as a marvel, she is able to marvel at herself. If the color purple demands notice, then she should demand notice. The final words of...

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Talking to God in The Color Purple. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:51, July 11, 2020, from