The Color Purple

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The Color Purple is an acclaimed 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker. It received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.[1]


Plot summary

The story is told in the form of diary entries and letters. Celie is a poor uneducated young black woman in 1909 Georgia who, aged only fourteen, is raped and impregnated twice by a man she calls Pa. Her children both disappear; Celie assumes their father has murdered them, until she meets a small girl in town to whom she bears a strong resemblance. Celie is forced into a marriage against her will, to Mr.Johnson, a man who originally approaches her father to ask permission to marry her younger sister, Nettie. Shortly after moving into her new home, she is joined by Nettie, who is also seeking to escape the unpleasant conditions at home. After Celie's husband tries to seduce her and fails he forces Nettie to leave and, following Celie's advice, she goes to the home of a local pastor, promising to write to Celie. As time passes, no letters arrive and so Celie assumes that Nettie is dead.

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