Alice Walker wrote The Color Purple to capture and illuminate the hardship and bitterness African American women had to face in the early 1900s. Walker's story is filled with very powerful and emotional experiences such as rape, physical abuse and verbal abuse, prejudice, the oppression of women, and hatred. The truth about men and women, blacks, and whites, love and perseverance are revealed by Walker's saga. Through the epistle format, Walker demonstrates the transformation of a mentally, physically and spiritually abused black girl into an independent, strong woman.
Celie is the main character of the novel and endures a great deal of pain. When she is very young, her stepfather impregnates her, and her two children are born and sold. Celie is then married to a man who beats her and sends her sister away, never again allowing the two to communicate. The only light that came into Celie's life when living with Mr. was when Shug Avery came. The two women became involved in an intimate relationship and together they found the same love that each was lacking. Many years later Celie finally leaves the brutal life with her husband. She learns of her sister and children and that they are coming from Africa to find her. Celie's dreams never deteriorate and she is eventually delivered from the oppression of her younger days.
The Color Purple, was published in 1982. The novel brought fame and financial success to its author. It also won her considerable praise and much criticism for its controversial themes. Many reviewers were disturbed by her portrayal of black males, which they found unduly negative. When the novel was made into a film in 1985 by Steven Spielberg, Walker became even more successful and controversial. While she was criticized for negative portrayal of her male characters, Walker was admired for her powerful portraits of black women. Reviewers praised her for her use of the epistolary form, in which written correspondence between characters comprises the content of the book, and her ability to use black folk English.