Gender Roles In The Color Purple

Words: 1641
Pages: 7

Through the eyes of an enslaved woman, The Color Purple, narrates the story of Celie, who encounters complications along her journey to understand who God really is. The Color Purple is Alice Walker’s third novel published, and it won her the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book award <>. Within the book, themes of violence, religion, defying gender roles and femininity are mentioned throughout. Celie, a fourteen-year-old girl, writes letters to God about her daily encounters because of her repeated abuse from her father. As Walker said, “No one is exempt from the possibility of a conscious connection to All that is.” In other words, no one can run away from the truth as the truth will come out. Walker starts off the story with a descriptive …show more content…
Multiple characters in The Color Purple defy the traditional male or female gender roles. Sofia’s strength and sass, Avery’s sexual assertiveness, and Harpo’s insecurity are major examples. Sofia proves to be defiant because unlike other women around her, she stands up for herself. This is witnessed when Sofia fights back when Harpo’s father advices him to beat his wife in order to have her under control. Instead of being like most women and taking the beating without question, Sofia stood her ground and fought back Harpo forever raising his hands at her. Avery also defies gender roles because her confident sexuality and resistance to male dominance causes her to be labeled a tramp. An example would be her choice of career and the way she presents herself. Avery is a singer who travels from place to place and she likes to wear clothing that is “inappropriate” for women of that time. Women are expected to be stay at home mothers who clean and take care of children, but Avery as decided to bolt from the norm and become a singer. Lastly, Harpo’s insecurities go against what is the standard way of men. Men are supposed to be dominant, leaders and ruthless, but Haro is the opposite. He is weak, since he cannot control Sofia and, therefore shows no leadership or strength, which is the opposite of what men should be. Defying gender roles is one of the themes protruding from Walker’s