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The Color Purple – Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker


I am the only reader in our family. I might sound a little condescending, but it really is true. I am the only person in the most recent generation of our family tree who would spend a lot on books. A few of my cousins show some interest in reading, but they do not read as voraciously as I do.

So it really is rewarding when I get my cousins to read by simply letting them check out my books. One cousin read a book I left on the dresser. Never mind that it was a Danielle Steel novel. Another cousin periodically checks out my books. I don’t think she has ever borrowed one of my books, but I influenced her big time to get a copy of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

And there’s my sister. The first book that she read from my pile was The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. It’s something that I really didn’t intend to buy, but hey, at least someone read it. And then she jumped to Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. I saw her crying during one of her reading sessions. It got her. I smiled at the thought, because that book also got me.

The Rhapsody

It’s not easy to forget this book because of the epistolary style. Dear God, Dear God. Yes, the letters are addressed to God. It’s more of a journal than a letter. Then somewhere on the middle part, a new recipient is included. Dear Nettie, Dear Nettie. Oh, she’s the sister of the letter sender.

And who is this letter sender? She is Celie. She is black, she is abused, she is struggling, she is lonely. I don’t think she really has anyone to share her life with. Hence, the letters. The unanswered letters.

And would it really change anything if you share someone a life devoid of any meaning?

But life is never devoid of any meaning. There has to be something somewhere. One has to search deeper. One must get in touch with his inner self. One must discover it in order to make sense of everything.

This book is both simple and complex. It’s simple because the writing is not heavy. It’s complex because of the layers of themes integrated. The themes of racism, self-discovery, and the strength of the human spirit are seamlessly weaved into one small book. It has a generally sad mood, but at the end, there’s the happy ending. There’s the reunion of the sisters. There’s Celie’s redemption from a life bound in chains, her letters finally being answered. Indeed, there’s always hope. I always say that, and I don’t know if people are getting tired of hearing me say that. But I can’t help it.

4 star - really liked itFinal Notes

I like the color purple, both the book and the color. I am actually wearing striped purple shoes now. I should have worn my purple shirt, but I didn’t realize this morning that this book is scheduled today.

Purple is a fun and delicious color. It is also the color of spirituality. I don’t know who decided that or where it came from, but reading this book can strengthen that designation for the color. It’s because it made me feel that there is a higher force watching over us. I am not a religious person, but I do sometimes think about such stuff. Besides, I think my philosophies in life are inherently spiritual.

People sometimes confuse spirituality with religion. It may have something to do with it, but it is something larger and more universal than religion alone. I don’t remember the mention of any specific religion in the book. The letters were not addressed to the Catholic God, the Moslem God, or Some Religion’s God. It’s just plain God.

It’s our God. Everyone’s God.


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