I recently finished Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and to tell you the truth, I was a little bit disgusted at first that how could Celie’s father Alfonso (though he was a step-father) rape his daughter. I understand the fact that he needed to fulfill his sexual gratification but how come he didn’t feel any guilt in abusing his own daughter. He knew that Celie and Nettie’s real father had been lynched but rather than providing a normal and happy childhood, he abused her, not only physically but mentally and psychologically too.
But as my professor explained the concept, I realized that abused exists in all parts and all kinds of society. Alice Walker may only have seen black men abusing black women or white people abusing blacks or men abusing women but it happens all around the world. Now as I read every news article, I feel that society as not much changed. Little girls, teenagers and even older women are being abused all around us. Sometimes the abuse is sexual, other times mental and physical. From the beginning, I could feel Celie’s helplessness and self-hatred. I was hating Alfonso and Albert along with her and missing Nettie and Shug. My favorite part is when Celie who is to go to Memphis with Shug and escape her life is stopped by Albert and is verbally abused. Her loud, powerful voice in which she tells Albert to mind his own business is wonderful. She calls him a ‘lowdown dog’ and all I could think was, you go girl, show him his place.
It is a very interesting and heart-breaking read which opened my eyes to the abuse and ill-treatment that goes on in the society. Ironically, yesterday was International Women’s Day and media across the globe was celebrating it with much enthusiasm. Twitter was filled with sea of hash-tags, my Facebook was filled with notifications about images in which I was tagged, News channels were going on and on about the famous women who made big and overcame difficulties and various channels were showing re-runs of women-centric programs but no one thought about the women who were on this day were slaving in kitchens, working non-stop or were being ill-treated by our patriarchal society. All I could do was think about Celie and wonder what women in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple would think about it? What would Sophia, Mary Agnes, Shug, Nettie and Celie say, would they ignore the abused women and go on their way or do something to help them?