An analysis of religion and spirituality in the colour purple by alice walker

It is one of the most significant novels in the literature of the Black Americans. Walker lived in the south which was the hub of racial discrimination. The novel portrays the physical, societal, economical and political environment she grew up in and the effects of various modes of inequalities of race, ethnicity, class, color, and especially gender on the lives people especially the woman. It further elaborates how the colored people found their way through these tough times by looking towards religion which again was manipulated by the whites to gain complete control over the colored.

An analysis of religion and spirituality in the colour purple by alice walker

The book is written in a series of addresses to God. Celie writes to God when she is feeling down or happy, insecure or confused. She wonders what her life will be like in her first letter to God.

She believes she is a good girl and wants God to know that. Celie tells Nettie that she is never alone or hopeless as long as she has God in her life. She writes to God all the time, an act that gives her hope and companionship.

She also tells Nettie that she will find help at the home of Reverend Mr. While Celie finds sanity in writing to God, Nettie finds safety in the home of a man of God. Celie has trouble sleeping and asks God why she feels so terrible. She thinks she has sinned against someone else, and realizes that it is Sofia against whom she has sinned.

She feels horrible for telling Harpo to beat her. After the two women laugh and talk, she feels better. She tells God that after she apologized for her sins, she can sleep again. The preacher speaks about Shug Avery during his sermons as the object of sin and sexuality.

She comes back to town, suffering from venereal disease and becomes the subject of gossip. Meanwhile, Celie becomes a regular church-attendee, pleasing the preacher and helping him with anything necessary to make religion an important presence in town.

The Color Purple

Celie addresses God once again in reference to Nettie. She admits that she finally has a letter in her hands from Nettie that has been hidden for years.

She is still alive and living well with the Reverend and his wife.


When Nettie runs away from Mr. Samuel and Corrine are Christian missionaries who have devoted their life to God. They welcome Nettie into their family and help teach her about religion and history.

She learns about the bible and hears religious stories that somehow seem different now. They see everything as holy and religious.

Shug and Celie discuss their visions and images of God. Shug claims to be a sinner who does not care about sinning, therefore living a happier life. Celie's image of God is like an old white man, older more exaggerated. However, when Shug speaks about religion, Celie listens and realizes that God may just be something out there to scare everyone.

They realize that God is not white; he only just seems that way because of their culture. At Sofia's mother's funeral, the entire family returns to mourn. Celie notices how Mr.

He has discovered religion and is trying to become more devout and respectful of God and his family. Although he discovers religion late in life, it still helps him cope with his problems and become closer to his family. Nettie informs Celie of her plans to open a new church together when they return home.

They worship a God without an image, so that they can concentrate on God's presence, as opposed to his invisible spirit. Celie tries to teach Mr. She informs him of whiteness and blackness and the Olinka version of religion.

An analysis of religion and spirituality in the colour purple by alice walker

He is intrigued to learn of an entirely new thought process.The Color Purple is written by the African-American writer Alice Walker. It is one of the most significant novels in the literature of the Black Americans.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker in Terms of Feminist Criticism [] criticised "the dominant cultural image of the successful and happy American. Louise Erdrich (Love Medicine, Tracks) and the African American writer Alice Walker (The Color Purple). Originating from different cultural traditions, Native American and African American women writers address common themes in their novels because of their common colonial background.

One of the main themes in their writings is that of religion. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple follows the personal and spiritual growth of an impregnated and abused African American girl in the South.

Celie finds her voice and personal identity over the years. Religion is often seen as suggesting as a way of final swift and constant change, a way that leaves through, while in some sense, transcends the normal situation.

However, the nature of this change is often paradoxical, ranging from self-denying to self-affirming, world-affirming to worldnegating, and Celie's world in The Color Purple, can be . Alice Walker has described The Color Purple as a novel that examines a journey from conventional Christian belief to a more general spiritual interpretation of the nature of God.

Walker identifies her own religious development as the inspiration for the novel and defines spirituality as one of the principal themes of the book.

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