Color Purple Sexism Essays

Most of the black male characters dominate women and do so in a violent and oppressive manner.

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Rich would argue that Celie is a victim because the sexist and racist ideology she was raised with taught her that she did not deserve to learn or to grow, or even to exist.

Bell would also argue that Celie learned from her early experiences with her father and her husband taught her that she does not "have the right to exist."Rich states "I would suggest that not biology, but ignorance of our selves, has been the key to our powerlessness." (p.240).

This is particularly obvious in the life of the central character Celie, whose experiences of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, followed by a loveless marriage in which Celie is treated no better than a slave, embody the most brutal aspects of the dominant African-American male.

Celie is expected to look after Mr_ ’s children, work in the fields and submit to joyless sexual encounters with a man who treats her like an unpaid prostitute.

In "Taking Women Students Seriously" Adrienne Rich writes about how the sexism and racism inherent in our culture, can make women feel powerless and oppressed.

She argues that this powerlessness is both gendered, and integrated into our culture.

She escapes only find out that she is in a relationship that is just as abusive as the father-daughter relationship that she had left.

As the novel progresses we see Celie develop a close friendship with Sug, this relationship helps Celie to move from powerlessness and oppression to having a sense of power and independence.

She states "He beat me today cause he say I winked at a boy at Church.

I may have got something in my eye but I didn't wink. This abuse leaves Celie powerless and she is so oppressed by her father's abuse that she is no longer capable of seeing herself as either capable or intelligent.


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