101 Books to Read Before You Die discussion

The Color Purple
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Completed Reads > The Color Purple - page 1-100

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message 1: by Alana (last edited Feb 19, 2017 06:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
My copy of the book at least doesn't appear to have chapter headings, so I'll break it down into about 100 page increments according to my copy. This section includes everything through the chapter starting: "Dear God, Us dress Squeak like she a white woman, only her clothes patch."

Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
Somehow I never ended up reading this in high school and it's scared me off for a long time because I've just read SO many down-and-out stories that I was just afraid this would be overly heavy.

So far I've been pleasantly surprised, though. I mean yes, obviously being raped (CONSTANTLY) by one's father, carrying two children and losing both because of the same father, being shipped off into a loveless marriage, dealing with beatings, etc.... all are extremely heavy subjects and can easily be overwhelming. Yet I'm amazed at how Walker approaches her writing, given just enough detail to get the general idea and the heart of the issues, but not dwelling on them overlong, but rather getting into the heart and spirit of her character(s). I couldn't help but laugh when she talked about the first time Harpo tried to beat Sofia.... and comes away needing the excuse that he lost to the business end of a mule. But his determination to make her submissive, because that's what he's been taught that a "man" is supposed to do, even against his own apparent nature, is what ultimately drives her away. He's not happy when he DOES have the submissive woman, Squeak, but can't seem to understand that he can actually have a good, healthy marriage with a woman he really loves but just doesn't bow to his every whim. I think that story so far is more tragic than Celie, because her marriage was never good to begin with. She doesn't feel she's lost anything, because she never had it.

I'm curious to see how her relationship with Shug develops, if Shug helps her to rise above her own fears and submissiveness to make something more of herself, even a little bit at a time. What their own personal relationship develops into, I don't really care, but how they develop each other in their relation to the world and other people should be very interesting.

I'm assuming I'm the only person who never got around to reading this before, and I'm wondering why I kept away for so long. These characters are really drawing me in. I guess it's a Pulizer winner for a reason.

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