Celie’s Empowered Identity in Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”

By Iman Hami.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Identity by itself is a complicated point, but it would be more complicated when restricted by issues such as race, gender, and class. Alice Walker, an African American writer, has mostly focused on the oppressions against black women in her works. She believes that black women should be treated as equal to white people. According to Alice Walker’s womanism, women should stick together to reject patriarchy and achieve self-recognition, self-value, and self-esteem. Womanists believe that women can recognize their identity through helping each other. In this novel, Celie and Shug are the examples for this term. Shug helps Celie identify herself first as a creature, second as a human being, and at last as a black female, which is the most remarkable. “The Color Purple,” an epistolary novel, is narrated by Celie. Most of her letters, which are all about her miseries, are addressed to God. By writing letters, Celie begins a way which leads her to recognize her identity. In this essay, the researcher attempts to show the interrelationships of gender, race, class, and their importance in the process of self-recognition in the novel.

Keywords: Identity, Womanism, Female Bonding

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.11-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 306.392KB).

Dr Iman Hami

PhD Student, Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, UK

Iman Hami is currently a PhD student in Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex, UK. Iman is working on Alice Walker’s novels and is specifically doing research on “Female Homosociality in Alice Walker’s Novels.” The title of Iman’s MA thesis was “Black Feminism in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.”