Celie’s character develop in ‘The Colour Purple’

October 1, 2017 September 1st, 2019 Free Essays Online for College Students

This essay will describe how the character of Celie changes throughout the book The Colour Purple. It will also discuss how the letters she writes tell you how she feels; furthermore it will show how her language, punctuation and vocabulary gets better throughout the book and how this reflects her growth as a person.

In the beginning of the book, her second letter reflects exactly how she speaks. She uses incomplete sentences which are very short and she does not spell her words correctly. Celie’s vocabulary is very basic; she sticks to simple words and phrases. Adjectives are not really used in her first letter as she has nothing to talk about. She only describes what she does; she uses all verbs, like the phrase which only tells the audience what is happening to her, such as;

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‘by time I git’ or ‘she scream at me’

Celie can not express the true meaning of her words so she repeats her words to express her ‘slave life’, which is considered a domestic routine. She repeats the words ‘He’ and ‘She’ that refer to her mother and father. The repetition of those words shows she has very little respect and has a lot of hate for them. In this letter the audience can also see that she really does not like men for the way she stresses the word ‘he’ which refers to her father, who she does not name as she does not like him since he has been raping her from as long as she can remember.

In the story, the influence of Shug, Sofia and Nettie help Celie character to build up to become more bold. At the beginning she was nondependent, her husband would control her, she was abused by her father and saw things like when her husband would try and rape her sister. With these things happening to her she couldn’t focus and would end up being very quiet. Help from Shug, gave Celie the ability to find herself as a person. Shug told Celie that she was pretty, told her that she was beautiful and also told her that she is much better than she thinks she is which in turn built her confidence. Sofia was the type of person that was very bold when answering Mr. When Celie saw and heard this, it was very clear that she could be just like Sofia. With the help of those three people she was about to gain more independence, confidence and self-esteem.

In letter two, she is now able to write to her sister compared to the first letter when she was writing to God. It is important to her and she now has someone to talk to and that can reply in the form of a letter. Her second letter is also longer than the first which also shows that she has a lot more to write that is not just verbs. She becomes more descriptive with her words when she uses a metaphor, for example in letter two she says

‘it seem to come to me from the trees’

As she becomes more descriptive, she is more aware of her surroundings and environment. She uses images of nature to give a sense of power, she says;

‘A dust devil flew up on the porch between us, fill my mouth with dirt. The dirt say, Anything you do to me, already done to you.’

With this it shows that she knows who she is, where she is and what she means to herself which is expressed more in this letter. She’s got a sense of who she is and she makes it known by saying to her husband;

‘I’m pore, I’m black, I may be ugly and can’t cook, a voice say to everything listening. But I’m here.’

When Nettie taught Celie how to read she became aware of how certain words were spelt, this is reflected in letter two as her vocabulary becomes much better although all of it may not be correct or in grammatical terms.

Also in this letter the audience can see that she has more personality and how she lets her feelings out. She now shows that she can speak for herself by answering back to her husband for example. In this letter she said

“Any more letters come? I ast.

He say, What?

You heard me, I say. Any more letters from Nettie come?”

This shows that she can now stand up for herself and she makes it known that she is no longer invisible.

By letter three, she has many more people to talk to, she writes to everything. Her language style changes as she talks about the dialogue between Shug and Mr. She describes what happens in the conversation, which she rarely did in the second letter and didn’t do in the first letter. Her vocabulary is much better as many and nearly all of her words are spelt correctly. She has learnt how to say in her sentences who said what and where there were pauses in their words, she expressed this. She also uses many more adjectives in this letter. At the end of the letter she describes what she did with Mr. on the porch. She also describes herself and how she thought Mr. was to her; she wrote;

“Then the old devil put his arms around me……

Way after while, I bent my stiff neck onto his shoulder….”

This letter doesn’t tell the audience all about her and what she is doing it tells the audience what dialogue was transferred between Shug, Mr. and herself. The previous letters would tell the audience who to and what she said with very little or no meaning to it. With this letter she wants to express herself to the whole world of what she is aware, which is the environment and everything and everyone else.

By the end of the book, Celie has gained a lot of confidence and personality. She has also gained the knowledge of how to read and write with the kind help of Nettie, her sister. The letters she wrote with a lot of description told the audience that she is now independent. At the beginning she found it hard to communicate but eventually found her own two feet to stand on. Celie eventually reconciled with her husband in the end as he finds out that she is more of a person now than ever and she isn’t afraid to show it. He came to the conclusion that he needed to start treating his wife properly without the abuse and abusive language. In conclusion, throughout the whole book Celie grew up and became someone with meaning.

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