"I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love."
In a single glance, you wouldn't think I have a lot in common with the character of Celie. She is abused from a very early age, raped by her father, and put through more struggle and strife than most. It isn't her pain that I connected with, but her awakening.
Celie, over a long course of time, learns who she is and how to cope with the things that have happened to her. She learns to accept and understand her past for what it is and to move forward into a much happier future. It takes a long time for Celie to come to terms with the things she has been given.
But she realizes that if she wants things to change, she must change. Rather than accept the life and pain she has always known, she has to push outside of the box she was placed in. She awakens and the transformation is simply amazing. And inspiring.
I was riveted by her courage to leave a life of pain behind to take a chance on something she loved. She didn't settle for what was right there, but took a chance and made something of herself. I admire that kind of courage.
I wish I could do that. I am a lot of talk about the things I want to do and what I wish for. But rarely do I go for it, no matter what happens. I like to be safe and secure. I take what is given to me and accept it. I could stand to take some of Celie's courage and use it to make something of myself. I struggle with this-this want to make something of myself, to make a difference and to inspire. I have goals, dreams, but I never just go for them. I need to. And it took Celie to remind me.
The other character who truly inspired me was Sofia. Sofia is a strong black female character who refuses to bow to the power of the men around her. She refuses to be beaten and put into her place as a female. Her courage had me cheering for her. I loved her spunk and attitude and the way she refused to accept society's role that was given to her.
Many of the female characters in the novel echo those same thoughts. Oppressed by the men around them, some manage to escape and challenge that role. Some don't. Reading about their journeys made me appreciate what I have and how our society has changed a little. But we still have a long, long way to go.
I walked away from this reading of The Color Purple inspired and moved. I remember from my previous reads that this was a powerful novel, but in the place than I am now, I gained far more knowledge about the power of women who stand united and the dark and nasty things that many women have to go through. I didn't remember the scenes from Africa and those were quite the shocker for me on this read.
This is a novel that everyone must read at some point in their lifetime. Not only does it address a variety of social and racial issues (including female-male relationships, homosexuality, abuse, rape, mutilation, incest, class, race, etc, etc), but it does it in a haunting and gripping way. As a reader, you are pulled directly into Celie's pain and her struggles. When she cries, you cry. When she pulls away in that climatic dinner scene, you whoop and jump for joy. And at the end? You feel her utter joy.
To say that it is moving is an understatement. The Color Purple is an experience, and one that will grab hold of you in a way that you have never experienced before. It will change you, it will inspire you, and it will make you want to go for it-whatever "it" may be.
I know that I have a renewed faith in my own goals and the dreams that I have set. I will not doubt myself or tell myself "no." Most of all, I will continue to love those around me and cherish them for what they are.
"Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved."
Thank you Celie.