Monday, May 15, 2006

The Color Purple


I heard about the movie before i heard about the novel.. in fact, i even heard about the broadway show before i heard about the book.. and then , i saw the book in hillary clinton's bookshelf.. i just HAD to pick it up.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker..
Somehow when i read the reviews, i had formed an opinion that the book revolved around the life of this strong willed courageous black woman ho stood up for her rights blah blah blah.. and i was totally wrong! there's nothing strong willed about Celie.. maybe except for her determination to live.. raped by the person she beleived to be her own dad repeatedly since she was 14 years old.. has two children but both are taken away from her and she has no idea about their existence..and then she's separated from the only being she loved, her sister nettie to marry some man who's in love with someone else and all that she has to do is clean his house and take care of his chlidren.. you keep thinking she's going to get the courage to break free..but no..she never does..she resigns to fate and seems to be happy that she's alive..doesnt ask for anything more from the world.. and then, hr life turns around when her husband's lover comes to stay with them.. this is not the end of the tale.. the book is the form of series of letters... letters from celie to god, and then from her to nettie and also letters from nettie to celie..just letters.. it starts with the first time she's raped by the person she beleives to be her dad at age 14 and just goes on for more than 30 years!!
the story is about opression.. black opression and opression of women.. of women who'd tolerate any behaviour from men and the society just because they are black women..the lowest strata of society..
its a powerful book and transports you from the present to the age this book was set in.. the crude language and the grammer and the spelling only adds to the power of the book..its surely not a book that would ever be included for a literature non-detail in school..never.. it feels like you'll forget english before you're done with the book..thankfully that doesnt happen..:)
somehow to me, the character of sofie stood out more than that of nettie herself.. sofie's the strong one..the one to resist male domination and white domination..the one to stand up for her own rights.. sofie's the strong one.. even when you read about her, you wish celie would be more like her..stand up for herself.. but celie is just who she is..a typically opressed black woman.. it a beauty to see her come out of shell with the help of her husband's lover.. you can feel the transformation.. you can sense the change in her wrting..you can feel her confidence..all from just the way she looks at the world around her..
i loved the book.. i really did!:)

6 comments:

Mathi Ezhil said...

This pulitzer winning work is too good!!.Now if you really liked this try out Beloved by Toni Morrison, yet another work in Afro American literature.

Mathi Ezhil said...

Sorry..oops..missed the keyword "landmark work" in afro american literature

Ramya said...

@ toni morrison?? yeah..oprah suggests her books too.. was thinking of giving it a shot anyways.. beloved, you say?? well, shall add that book too to my list!!:) the list just keeps getting longer!!:)

Mathi Ezhil said...

Oprah would certainly suggest Beloved for two reasons:
1) A book that almost won Toni Morrison her noble prize.
2)When adapted as a movie Oprah produced it and also played the leading role in it.

But with everything said and done Beloved is certainly a heavy read,but still worth it.
By the way though irrelevant while talking about Toni Morrison,just struck chord.I dont know if you have tried out Jose Saramago, a portugese writer.(A noble winner too).Please add Blindness to your "Never miss them" list.Trust me, worth a thousand books.

Ramya said...

@mathi - i didnt know oprah acted in another movie.. i thought that the color purple was her only movie.. hmm..interesting..:) and shall try blindness by jose saramago..:) thanks.

Mathi Ezhil said...

Oprah in Color Purple..ook..i never knew that, i haven't watched the movie,but i always thought it was Whoopi Goldberg in the lead role in Color Purple.
Indeed,please try Blindness,Sarmago is considered to be one of the best writers of 20th century in all languages.Have u had a chance to read any of the works of Gunter Grass,Tin Drum ,Cat and Mouse more specifically.Believe Me-Uproarious and too good..again Tin Drum is one of my fav books, don't miss it!!