Has there been a film version?
Yes, in 1985 and directed by Steven Spielberg. It starred Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, and Oprah Winfrey. There was also a Tony Award winning Broadway play version that was produced by Oprah.
Who are the important characters?
Celie – a young black woman who is abused throughout her teen years and on, she’s constantly being told she’s worthless and ugly
Mr. ____ – Celie’s husband
Nettie – Celie’s sister, younger, smarter and more beautiful than she is
Shug – short for “Sugar”, Mr. ____’s mistress, a singer and loose woman
Harpo – Mr. ____’s son
Sofia – Harpo’s wife
Squeak – Harpo’s girlfriend
What’s it about?
This is the story of Celie, black and female while living in 1930’s Georgia. She was sexually abused by her father starting at age 14, and had two children by him who were taken from her. She and her sister, Nettie, are exceedingly close friends and Celie does all she can to protect Nettie from the lustful eye of her father and their recently widowed neighbor, Mr. ____. When Celie is forced to marry Mr. ____ and Nettie is forced to leave in order to avoid his advances, Celie begins to be physically abused by her husband and disrespected by her step children. Nettie promises to write her, but when no letters come, Celie assumes Nettie is dead. Then Shug enters Celie’s life and completely turns it around – teaching her about love, independence, self-respect, and God.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Because it addresses (sometimes explicitly) what it was like to be a female Black woman in America in the past when racial and sexual prejudices still ran rampant.
Do I recommend you read this book?
Yes. Although I warn you that there is some very explicit sexual content.
How did this book make my list?
It’s award-winning, and I like Alice Walker.
Has it won any awards?
The Pulitzer for Fiction in 1983 and the National Book Award.
“I don’t say nothing. Stillness, coolness. Nothingness. Coming fast.” – p 253
I just have to say that I like Alice Walker ever so much more than Toni Morrison.
While I was reading this book, I realized I have read parts before. I’m not sure where – and why I would only read small portions of it, but I recognized them. Anywho – I’m still trying to wrap my head around this book a bit, but since it’s due back at the library, I decided to go ahead and do my little review.
I love the character of Celie. She has such horrible self-esteem but tells things exactly how they are when it comes to situations and other people. I also liked how she was contrasted next to Shug as a strong female character. Walker does a phenomenal job of portraying all the different roles that Black females held in the world at that time; whether it’s Celie being abused, Shug fighting and winning, Sofia fighting and losing, or Nettie in a completely different world.
The one thing I didn’t care for is the exclusion of Celie’s husband’s name. I always struggle when someone doesn’t have a specific name. It takes me about 50 pages to reconcile myself with it, and I normally just fill it in with something for the sake of my own sanity. :p