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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life itself
Likened to the books THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER and the bestseller BARK OF THE DOGWOOD, Walker's tour-de-force is a book (and movie) not to be missed. Built around the context of the heated time in American history when one man was not equal to another simply because of his race and no female was equal in any realm, THE COLOR PURPLE weaves a beautiful story of a...
Published on June 6 2005 by Challey

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3.0 out of 5 stars The Color Purple Review
The Color Purple was a good and bad book for different reasons. Two reasons it was not a very good book is because the use of "local color", or regionalism, makes the book hard to read and because the book seemed very depressing, giving too much detail in some areas. One reason that I felt the book was good is because the book was composed entirely of letters written by...
Published on May 14 2004 by Ashlee Jones


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life itself, June 6 2005
This review is from: The Color Purple (Paperback)
Likened to the books THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER and the bestseller BARK OF THE DOGWOOD, Walker's tour-de-force is a book (and movie) not to be missed. Built around the context of the heated time in American history when one man was not equal to another simply because of his race and no female was equal in any realm, THE COLOR PURPLE weaves a beautiful story of a African American woman.
Alice Walker breathes life into a young, poor, and ugly girl named Celie. Celie is an amazing character because while she has suffered more than most humans will in a life time, before she was twenty years old, she is not a victim. She is simply living her life, as she would live it any other way. She is simple yet complex, a deep character in a world of confusion.
The background and world that the story is told in reveals the time when whites ruled and blacks survived. The novel deals with racism at its core and prejudice as well, especially against women. This novel will never grow old, the story will always be fresh, because untill we have conquered racism, prejudice, and social injustice and created a world where all are free, black and white, male and female, there is a urgent need for this novel. It is as contemporary as when it was written and the message of this outstanding work is still as needed as always. This is something all of us, especially women, should take a look at. THE COLOR PURPLE will stand out as one of the top ten books of the last century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Both book AND movie are great--Don't miss this one!!!, March 8 2005
Our book club has recently taken up the "Southern literature" theme. The first book we read with this idea in mind was Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It was a natural and started the ball rolling. We next tackled Jackson McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD (the paperback version, which just came out) with its funny scenes and jaw-dropping themes. So, I supposed that THE COLOR PURPLE was our next logical choice. We loved the previous two and we loved PURPLE. PURPLE is a great book that describes the life of black women who were forced to do things against their own will. Discrimination was a big problem during the time that this book takes place. Women had no rights and black people were treated like slaves. The book opens up with a fourteen-year old girl named Celie talking about how she was raped by her own father and had two children that were taken away from her by her own father right after they were born. If I were in Celie's place I would've ran away from home or I would've done anything to stop by father from raping me. I think that rape is the worst thing that could happen to a girl and in this book rape is something that almost every women went through. Abuse and racism were also a major impact in this book. Many of the women in this book were raped or beaten by the men of the house. For example, Celie was raped not only by her father but also by the man that she was given away to. She was also forced to cook for him, clean the house, and take care of his children. Sofia was beaten by her husband, Harpo, but she soon got tired of it and decided to leave him. Most women couldn't even work just because they were females and others were treated like slaves just because they were black. Sofia was a brave black woman in this book who didn't let anyone tell her what to do. She insulted a white woman once and was put in jail just for that. She couldn't see her children while she was in jail and when she got out of jail she was forced to live with the white woman as her maid. I don't think it's fair that white people were able to put a black person in jail just for insulting them but black people couldn't' do the same. Through out the entire book Celie was kept away from her only sister, Nettie. Women had no power and there was nothing that Celie could do to write to her sister or see her. She never even knew about her two children that she once had until one day she received a letter from her sister and was finally reunited with her sister and her two children. This is a great book describing the hard and cruel lives that black women lived because they had no freedom. I believe that women should've been treated equally. I don't think it's fair that people were discriminated because of the color of their skin or their gender. This book was good because it had a good plot and it was interesting at all times. I like the way the book is written because it's written in a form of a diary and the words that are used actually sound like a black person speaks. I'm glad that the lifestyle has now changed and women can now work, get and education, and be independent. I just can't recommend this novel enough. Would also suggest you try the McCrae (Children's Corner") and the proverbial "To Kill a Mockingbird." All are great, but read the Alice Walker first!!!
Also recommended: CHILDREN'S CORNER by McCrae and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Color Purple Review, May 21 2004
By 
Lindsay (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Color Purple (Paperback)
The Color Purple is an amazing book to read. It was very rewarding for me to read because it opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about life, love, and religion. Alice Walker is able to capture the feelings of each character and their reactions to life, especially Celie. Celie is a poor, black girl who lives in the south and struggles throughout life. I felt some strong aspects of this book were the plot, the writing style, and the Characters.

In my opinion, the plot of the story is well done because you feel the anger that Celie is going through. The story begins very abruptly with all the struggles Celie is faced with, like the abuse by her father and the death of her mother. The story begins with her father saying, "You better not tell nobody but God. It'd kill you mammy." (pg 1. line 1). She is also forced to marry a man she hates and she is very angry with her life, until her husband's lover, Shug Avery, comes to live with them, then things begin to change. Shug teaches Celie how to love and how to speak for herself. I love the way Shug and Celie's relationship develops throughout the book. They grow to love each other and care for each. This allows Celie to feel more respected.
The book is written in a letter formation. The book starts out with Celie writing to God and then she begins to converse with her sister, Nettie. When Celie was talking to God, she was in need of someone to talk to. Then she talked to Nettie about her life and what is happening in it. I love the letter formation because it allows the reader to get a bigger perspective of the characters and a wider view of the story. When Celie is writing to God you can really understand how she is feeling and what she is thinking. You get to see the characters through their eyes and not someone else's eyes.

The characters are well described and portrayed for the time and place of the book. Alice Walker does a great job in portraying the women of the time and how they were treated. Celie is the one character who changes the most throughout the story and evolves into a more courageous and independent woman. In the beginning of the novel Celie is very powerless and doesn't have much confidence. She doesn't care about what other people think of her, she doesn't even care what God thinks of her, until the middle of the book when she says, "All my life I never care what people thought bout nothing I did, but deep in my heart, I care about God." (pg 187. line 26.). As the story progresses, she becomes powerful and is able to control her life like this quote, "I see they think me and Nettie and Shug and Albert and Samuel and Harpo and Sofia and Jack and Odessa real old and don't know much what going on. But I don't think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt." (pg 289. line 1-3.). This quote shows that she feels happy and young again and she has overcome all of her struggles.
Overall this book was really a touching book. It had a great development and it had a great theme behind it. I would recommend this book to anyone. Once you read this book, you will have a completely different view on life and the way you live it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book- The Color Purple, May 20 2004
By A Customer
The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a great book and I recommened it to everyone. One of the themes could be that all bad things can be good. Celie is raped and forced to marry a man she doesn't like and he beats her. When she runs away she starts a business and comes back with money. That is not the only theme in the novel there are many. Alice Walker develops the character in a way that you can relate to them. Walker describes Celie's emotions so well you can picture her expressing those emotions. You can feel Celie's pain when she writes to God saying, "Mr. come that evening. I'm in the bed Crying," (Letter 5, Paragraph 2, pg 7).You can imagine her fear and picture her in bed crying. When Shug Avery comes into the picture you see Celie and Shug's relationship grow when they run away. Celie found out Shug loved someone else, "My Heart broken. Shug found someone else," Celie feels she has lost Shug because they have grown so close. Celie changes so much through the novel and Walker ends the novel showing how much she has changed. When Nettie comes home and they see each other for the first time Celie remarks how young she feels again and how alive she is. In the beginning of the novel Celie would have rathered die then live. She changes alot because of Shug. The plot of the story is how Celie becomes friends with Shug Avery and how she try and learn to become independent woman, get rid of Albert, and Celie trys to find herself without Nettie's help. They come to learn what love is from the nature of God. Celie only writes to God.
When you first start to read the novel it is hard to follow because she writes in all letters and since you don't know her husbands name it is hard to understand. Walker also throws a lot of characters at you all at once and it is hard to keep track. It is an easy book to understand once you get used to it. The development of the novel is easy to follow because you feel what the characters are going through and Walker gives you a good sense of description. "But before I know anything a skinny big toof man wearing red suspenders is all up in my face," (pg 104, paragraph 4). You can imagine what the characters see and you can imagine that yourself.
The dialect Walker uses is southern. She uses double negative because that is the way blacks would be speaking in this time period. You get use to the dialect after reading it for a little bit. It makes it easier to understand the character better because you can interpet how they would such words. This was a profound novel about love, overcomming the odds, and learning to be independent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Color Purple Review, May 14 2004
By 
Ashlee Jones (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
The Color Purple was a good and bad book for different reasons. Two reasons it was not a very good book is because the use of "local color", or regionalism, makes the book hard to read and because the book seemed very depressing, giving too much detail in some areas. One reason that I felt the book was good is because the book was composed entirely of letters written by Celie. All in all I could not decide whether I liked this book or I did not so I would say it is a mediocre book.
The regionalism used in this book was very extreme, in that the words very scarcely were alike the words they were supposed to be. Because of this it took longer to read the book. Also this made me focus less on the content on the book and more trying to keep up with what the sentences were about. One example of this is when Celie writes on page 7, "She say Mr. _____ was taking somethin out his billfold to show Pa an it fell out an slid under the table." Reading that one sentence may not seem bad but reading the whole book full of sentences like that started to get tough. Even later in the book the grammar was like this. Another example of this towards the end of the book is when Celie writes on page 186, "But then I remember, he not my daddy, just my children daddy." This was the first thing I noticed about the book and the first thing that I did not like about it.
The letters that Celie writes are what makes up this book, along with letters from her sister, Nettie. Because the book is totally made up of letters by the one girl you can see her age throughout the book. Writing these letters is her way of getting out everything she wants to tell somebody. When she says on page 1 "You better never tell nobody but God. It'd kill your mummy" it makes it seem more than just a bunch of letters and she's real. It is her way to talk to God and not get in trouble by her father. This is a part of the book that I liked. I've never read a book like this and I thought it was very original. The letters made the characters seem more alive and the book not seem like a work of fiction.
The second reason why I didn't like this book was because it was too descriptive in many parts. Even thought it's giving you the experiences the characters are going through, it was too much. The words used were not necessary for me to know what was going on. It started right on the first page and then throughout it would talk about many different "experiences".
Overall this book was an average book. It had its' up sides and down sides but mostly downsides. I just didn't agree with some of the language used. This wouldn't be a novel I would really recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very realistic book, Feb. 17 2004
By 
No matter how hard life is, you can always find solace in little pretty things, like the color purple, in a green field. This is the lesson Alice Walker´¿s protagonist, Celie, taught me. Celie was raped by her ´¿father´¿ and became a mother at the age of fourteen. Her father then gave away both of her children, telling her he had killed them, and married her off to a Mr. ____. Mr. ____ abused her because she was not his lover, Shug Avery. Instead of being jealous of one another, Celie and Shug developed a supportive, friendly, and at times sexual relationship. It was Shug that taught Celie not to be ashamed of herself, and to have the confidence to write to her sister Nettie in Africa instead of to God. Nettie had run away from home to escape their father´¿s abuse, and had gone to Africa with missionaries that had unknowingly adopted Celie´¿s children.
Through this book, Walker makes the voice of a young black woman living in the early nineteenth century heard. She exposes her readers to the racist, abusive, and degrading atmosphere Celie lives her life in, and shows her readers how Celie finds true faith and peace in such horrible circumstances. The epistolary form of the book (written in the form of letters) exposes the points of view of many different characters. Celie´¿s Southern black accent makes the atmosphere of the book even more realistic.
I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to explore the theme of personal strength, and battle against issues as diverse as racism, rape, finding oneself spiritually, and even lesbianism. Just be prepared for an emotional whirlwind with a very thought-provoking ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The color puprle, Feb. 11 2004
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This book is a diary to god from a black girl Celie. She writes about her hard life and how she lives. She had gone through a lot since she was small and because of all the hardship, she couldn¡t even remember when was the last time she was happy or angry or just feel something. She just knew how to survive. But as she grows older and meets people who affect her life, she changes into a different person who becomes more confident, laugh, play and learns to love and forgive.
I got this book from my school library and the title of the book attracted me. The title seemed like there was something deep behind it. So I just started to read it. At first I really couldn¡t understand what Celie was saying because she was writing in slangs and because she was a black girl who didn¡t finish school, she had some spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes, so when I was reading the first few pages I had to re read most of the pages. But soon, I got used to the slangs and the grammar mistakes. I really loved this book because I learned a lot from this book and it was a really touching book. I learned how black men used to treat their wives at home and I just learned what kind of life a black woman lived long ago. Also, it was a really touching book because you get to see how much Celie change and how her life was so hard and challenging, but as she changes you get to see how her life changes with her. Alice Walker the author wrote the book in a way where you can feel Celie and feel like her friend at the end of the book. I really enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it to any teenage girls.
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5.0 out of 5 stars emotional journey, Nov. 6 2003
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The Color Purple is a book that really tugs on the reader's emotions. The novel is about a young lady named Celie who experiences great tragedy throughout her life, but in spite of everything that has happened to her she learns to overcome the hurdles that are placed before her. As a teenager Celie was sexually abused by her stepfather and became pregnant by him twice. The children were taken away at birth and she was forced to marry a stranger. During her marriage an ex-lover of her husband's came to stay with them. While she was with Celie and her husband Shug Avery made a tremendous impact on Celie's life. She taught Celie how to love, laugh, and live. Some parts of this novel are hard to read and understand because they are letters written by Celie and she was very uneducated, but Walker does a very good job letting the reader know what the characters are feeling. The novel itself is very mature, but the lessons one should get from reading it are very elementary. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quick read and a quality piece of writing all in one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Insperational, Oct. 20 2003
By A Customer
The Color Purple was an inspiring book. I couldn't put it down. The main character was a black woman named Celie. Celie was a unhappy black woman who lived in the early 1900's. She was raped by her father and had two kids by him. Then her father, ashamed of what he had done, married Celie off to a cruel man. Celie spends most of her life being held prisoner almost at Mr.___ house. Where she cooks, cleans, does feild work, take care of his kids and is used as a tool so Mr.___ can satisfy himself. Celies best and only friend is a Miss Shug Avery, who she also loves. I said this book was inspiring and it is. Through all the hardships she still dreams of more. She never gives up, no matter what she goes through. She sacrifices herself time after time to help others. I can relate to, (Always helping others, and never putting myself first.) Celie also has a corky sense of humor, which is refreshing throughout the book. The way the book is written makes it medially difficult to understand. I had to read a lot things twice to understand what was meant . But it was still much better than the movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Insperational, Oct. 14 2003
By A Customer
The Color purple was an insiring book. I couldn't put it down. The book's main character was a black woman named Celie. Celie was a unhappy black woman who lived in the early 1900's. She was raped by her father and had two kids by him. Then her father ashamed of what he did married Celie off to a Cruel man. Celie spends most of her life being held prisoner almost, at mister's house. Where she cooks, cleans, does field work, and is used like a tool to get mister off. Celies best and only friend is a miss Shug Avery, who she also loves. I said this book was inspiring and it is. Through all the hardships she still dreams of more. She never gives up, no matter what she goes through. She sacrifises herself time after time to help others and that I can Relate to. Always helping others, and never putting myself first. Celie also has a corky sense of humor, which is refreshing through out the book. The way the book is written is mediumly difficult to understand. I had to read alot of things twice to understand what was meant. But it was still much better than the movie.
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The Color Purple - 10th Anniversary Edition
The Color Purple - 10th Anniversary Edition by Alice Walker (Hardcover - Feb. 1 2001)
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