Nelson's AP Lit and Comp 2014-2015 discussion

The Color Purple
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The Color Purple > Prompt #2

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message 1: by Melody (new)

Melody Nelson | 8 comments Mod
Prompt #2: One of the most highly praised aspects of The Color Purple is Walker's use of language. Celie's dialect brings the story to life. Fort (1982) states that "Walker's use of language, especially black idiom, is masterful and adds poignancy and depth to the narrative" (p. 115).

Why is the use of dialect so important to the Color Purple? Think about characters and themes.


Christina Munoz | 13 comments I think the important use of dialect in the Color Purple is to add the effect of feeling like you are there back in the 1930's in the south it provides a sense of setting. That way it helps to show more what it felt like back then for example if you rewrote the book to more of the diction we use today the book wouldn't mean the same thing it would be out of the setting.


Douar | 10 comments The use of dialect helps highlight traits of character who is narrating. For example, Celie has a low education level and we can tell by the words and dialects she uses in her narratives like naw, cause, mama, git, etc. Compared to her sister, Nettie, who has a higher level of education. It also helps bring out the purposes of each character. Celie writes to God like she’s confessing and Nettie writes, “you said your life made you feel so ashamed you couldn’t even talk about it to God, you had to write it, bad as you thought your writing was”, proving Celies purpose of writing. The language also helps bring out Celies humble character seeking some sort of comfort in her writing. While Nettie’s writing creates a reassuring purpose for Celie and the language helps identify the character who’s writing it, giving it all the more assurance for Celies character. Lastly these are two women who knows how to write. Celie is educated poorly and you see her life through her language. While Nettie is more educated and you can see the difference of their life through the language and dialects each uses that also contributes to their setting.


Angel (alee21) | 12 comments The dialect in this novel is important for many reasons. The dialect is slang and uneducated. The narrator Celie, is uneducated and during the time of the novel it didnt seem many people were. It really expresses how people speak to each other and more importantly how Celie speaks and tells the story. The story isn't about a wealthy, educated, blessed woman. Dialect has much to do with people and their surrounding. That is why it is so important to the story.


message 5: by Melanie (last edited Aug 16, 2014 08:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melanie Lee (melaanielee) | 9 comments The dialect in the novel "The Color Purple" is extremely important because the dialect/language is not as great. It's not as great due to the fact that the main character lacks writing abilities. In the novel, Celie mentions that she wants to keep going to school & get educated but Pa told Albert to take her (as in get marry) instead of Nettie since Celie's not smart (6). Celie says "The first time I got big Pa took me out of school. He never care that I love it." (9). Pa said "You too dumb to keep going to school." (9). This shows that Celie was not as educated as her younger sister & also shows why her letters are poorly written.

The dialect in this novel relates to the setting & theme because this novel took place back then (1900s). Back then people's education was not as great as today's. They lacked supplies & intelligence. Especially girls because people use to say that girls shouldn't go to school, their job is to stay home, do chores, & have children. That's probably why Celie lacked in grammar & writing.


message 6: by Chia Lia (new)

Chia Lia Xiong | 11 comments The way the book was written is very important. It is unique. If it was written in the way that we use English today it wouldn't give the feel of how life was like for Celie or others who were just like her during the time. The way the author wrote the book gives a sense of the way she is/was. The book describes her as a very uneducated individual. Because she wasn't educated, she was usually looked down upon by others. Where as her sister Nettie was the one who had all the smarts. The book is set up in a diary or journal like form and it helps us feel and understand what it was like, and how hard it was for Celie. She wrote her thoughts and feelings down, telling her story. It helped visualize the setting of the time and better understanding of her character and the story itself.


message 7: by Nalee (last edited Aug 11, 2014 06:08AM) (new)

Nalee Her | 8 comments The use of dialect in the book helped us as the reader understand the character about their thoughts, where they come from, the way that they lived, and what was occurring around them. Like for Celie, if the author didn't have a dialect for her, we would have probably thought that she had a higher education like Nettie. But because the author had a dialect for her, we understood that maybe Celie didn't really receive that much education. And through their personality from the dialects, we get the theme.


message 8: by Pa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pa Xiong (pxiong34gmailcom) | 10 comments The dialect in The Color Purple help us get a better understanding of the educations color people had back then and how they live their daily life. Also it gives each characters their own unique personality. For example, Nettie, being able to speak English better, will have more confident in herself than Celie, who have little education.


message 9: by Nelson (new)

Nelson Ramos | 9 comments The dialect of The color Purple is important because it helps us understand how people of that time lived and sounded. Some people spoke more "proper English while others spoke more "improper English". I think if the book had been written in more modern English it wouldn't have had made sense and it would have been harder for the reader to follow the story and to understand why things happened.


message 10: by Salena (new)

Salena Yang | 9 comments The dialect of "The Color Purple" helps us understand how some women backed then was not well educated. She had some grammar mistakes in her writing which made us understand she was not educated. With Celie lack of proper English, this made us understand she didn't had the power to really stand up for herself. The dialect was an important part of Celie's characteristic. The dialect made us feel the different ways people talked between the modern time and Celie's time period. Dialect is really important to make us understand the story.
Knowing the dialect importance it can relate to the theme. With Celie lack of education, it shows that women back in their day couldn't go to school or have same rights like men.


message 11: by Amber (new)

Amber Lee | 9 comments The use of dialect helps us understand and get to know the narrator or the character's personality. In the book, Celie is the narrator and she uses slang because she is an uneducated colored woman and during that time, it's hard for colored women to get an education due to helping around the house and raising a family. If the book was written in another character's perspective and uses a different dialect, the readers wouldn't have the connection and emotions they have towards Celie. It would be different. So dialect is important to the story.


message 12: by Kp (new)

Kp | 11 comments The dialect really makes me feel like I can connect to the character and understand the role they are playing. Plus the book was written in a completely different time so the language they used is way different then ours today. I think about the education and they weren't that educated in this book so that's probably a reason why it's written in this form. Personally through my thoughts and me analyzing I can really feel the gender roles too, women that aren't educated, while the men are educated. But all in all it just gives me that vintage feel to the book if you get what I mean. The book wouldn't be the same and the meaning wouldn't be the same without this particular dialect.


message 13: by Emilee (new)

Emilee Vang | 16 comments The importance of the dialect helps the reader portray and learn the character. The dialect gives the reader a hint of the setting and what year that the book takes place in. They used Wagons instead of cars. The dialect also helps the reader connect with the character. It shows the level of education the character has. Celie's father would rather let Nettie get more schooling because of her intelligence whereas to her father, Celie is full of stupidity.


message 14: by Nouchi (last edited Aug 27, 2014 11:33PM) (new)

Nouchi Yang | 10 comments The dialect in The Color Purple, plays an important role not just for one reason, but for many. Since not everyone talks the same, it helps the readers highlight each character and their personality. For example, Celie's dialect and grammar in her writing is different compared to Nettie's because she is more educated than Celie. If it wasn't for the dialect, the readers would had probably had a hard time figuring that out. The dialect also help make a vision for the readers to find the correct time period and setting. The dialect also lets the readers imagine and vision the story inside their head, as if they are in the book themselves. It makes the story more realistic as it helps the readers connect with the book as they are reading.


message 15: by Zongsia (new)

Zongsia | 5 comments The dialect in The Color Purple makes you feel like you're at that setting of the book. It's also important in The Color Purple because it illustrates the mood of the book at a whole new level. If it was just plain simple sentences it kills the mood and makes the reader want to put down the book. You could actually feel Celie's feelings as she tells the story.


message 16: by Chekwubechukwu (last edited Aug 28, 2014 09:39AM) (new)

Chekwubechukwu Ugwu | 3 comments the dialect in the color purple was important because the author used it to make it his own. it also added the feeling of reality to it. making celie's dialect different and making it sound like she is uneducated is another way he used the dialect to make it unique. example: "she ast me where they is?" (50)


message 17: by Randy (new)

Randy Vang | 8 comments I believe that the use of dialect is important in “The Color Purple” because it helps highlight and explain more about who is narrating, which helps the reader determine who Celie is as a person, such as her characteristics, background, and personality. The use of dialect also helps the reader determine and visualize the location and time that the novel takes place in. With the help of dialect, it tells and makes the reader understand that Celie is less educated because her stepfather Alphonso didn’t support her, and that Nettie is much more educated. “You too dumb to keep going to school, Pa say. Nettie the clever one in this bunch” (9). The dialect also helps put the reader in Celie’s shoes and her world of thoughts and feelings, so that the reader can visualize and feel what Celie is going through. Having dialect in this novel makes the novel unique, more interesting, and more powerful because it makes the reader feel like they are right there in the novel with Celie, therefore the reader can connect with Celie. This is why the use of dialect is so important in this novel.


message 18: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 7 comments The use of dialect is important in The Color Purple because it gives the characters a real human voice. It makes it so that the book isn't just a collection of words, it becomes a direct narration from the characters themselves. The characters become real people as we read their words and dialect. Dialect gives a sense of where these characters lived, when they lived, and their personality traits. It also contributes to the theme as well, where the theme of writing letters and the dialect intertwine. Through the dialect we are able to see the two different personalities between Celie and Nettie.


message 19: by Yeng (new) - rated it 3 stars

Yeng Yang | 14 comments In my opinion, Walker's use of language was a little bit confusing to me, but yes it does have an important role, it really brings out the importance of the story by making the audience understands that she's not well educated, yet she was able to express her feelings to God and the audience. Her dialect is of course from the South. The language chosen did not support Celie's argument about almost anything in the book, but it helps support the very main significance of Celie's life from a helpless kid to a fortunate and happy person.


message 20: by Bethanie (last edited Aug 31, 2014 03:54PM) (new)

Bethanie Kong | 8 comments The language causes readers to better understand a character. We understand a character's point of view and what kind of person they are, as well as the time and environment that they've lived in. In Celie's letters, many words throughout the book are spelled incorrectly. This tells us that she doesn't have a very broad knowledge of spelling vocabulary. From Celie's dialect, we better understand that she comes from and lives in a specific region and culture in rual Georgia. In Nettie's letters, which are more formal, we can tell that she isn't in the same region as Celie because she talks to others around her in a different dialect. Celie's dialect relates to the theme of "who you are is where you belong", because her dialect was a part of her, how she talked, and where she was from. The way she talked made her character and tone seem different from Nettie's. Dialect shaped Celie and the other characters uniquely so they would be different.


message 21: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lee | 17 comments The Color Purple dialect is important because Walker characters spoke with the region/times. It gives you a hint of the location or time period when they are writing. For Nettie, she has better grammar and is a high class student. For Celie, she is a low class student but the way she write her letters you can imagine it and feel the pain she been through.


message 22: by Ongie (new)

Ongie (ongiee) | 9 comments The use of dialect is important in this story because it gives an identity and attitude to the character. It also gives an idea to the audience of where and when the story is taking place and who is talking. For example Shug has a demanding and sort of a rude dialect. On page 51 "I don't want none of your damn food, she say. Just gimme a cup of coffee and hand me my cigarettes." The dialect showed how Celie's vocabulary was very limited and how Nettie's was more advanced.


message 23: by Jethro (new)

Jethro Thao | 8 comments The use of dialect is so important to the Color Purple because it really brings out the character of who’s narrating, how educated she was, for example of the words she uses and the slang that is incorporated with her dialect, and shows how people talked during their time. Without the dialect that it purposely has set in play, the reader wouldn’t understand the story clearly, the connection with Celie that most people would have, the point of view and where the narrator is coming from/feels, and the reader wouldn’t know how it would be like to be in Celie’s shoes. With the dialect in this story, it’s what makes this book constructed so well, that folds out into the intriguing plot. That is why the use of dialect is so important in the Color Purple.


message 24: by Karla (new)

Karla Lazaro vergara | 8 comments The use of dialect in The Color Purple is very Important. It creates imagery, the novels setting is based on it's dialect. It also brings out the characters, since Celie is less educated she uses words like "git" and tense to miss words here and there. It also brings out her character change,throughout the book. In the beginning of the book I thought it was hard to really know how the other characters pictured Celie, I actually couldn't picture Celie expressing much emotion. Then I realized that's actually how the author wanted to present her. At the end we see Celie as a new person, we see Celie as herself not as a shadow, or in other words a conformist. Nettie who is more educated and tense to have better grammar shows greater understanding of sentence structure, which is shown by her ability to explain herself clearer in the letters she writes to Celie.


message 25: by Nashaunta (last edited Sep 01, 2014 03:14AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nashaunta | 7 comments The dialect helps set the setting of the novel and shows the contrast between Celie and Nettie.

" He never had a kine word to say to me. Just say You gonna do what your mammy wouldn't." (pg. 1) From the very first page, the reader can infer that the novel takes place in the south presumably during the 1920's/30's. Also by Celie misspelling "kind", the reader can surmise that she is uneducated and a tad illiterate as opposed to Nettie.

"I know you think I am dead. But I am not. I been writing to you too, over the years, but Albert said you'd never hear from me again..." (pg. 119) Nettie's first letter is a sharp contrast to the usually dialect. It is clear that Nettie has had access to more education than Celie and is able to discuss her inner thoughts comprehensively.

The dialect also connects to the theme of racism. Since Celie and other characters around her share the same vernacular, it can be assumed they share the same lack of education. Since they are black living in a white driven society, they have limited opportunities.


message 26: by Kyson (new)

Kyson Moua | 8 comments Dialect really shows the how the character is expressing their emotions. Like Celie, she says whatever is on her mind. Her showing that really makes the reader feel like as if they were there watching Celie express her actions. The Celie talks also contributes to the ideal of women being treated less than a normal human. The way her dialect expresses that feeling is that she talks like she has been hurt.


message 27: by Connie (new)

Connie Xiong | 8 comments The dialect used in The Color Purple literally brings out color in the text. The dialect sets the setting in the south, "Then he say, you better get on back to the field" (27). Celie's dialect is slang, informal, and direct with no filter, which brings out a straightforward character in her. Dialect changes in Nettie's letters, "She traced the patterns with her finger, and slowly her eyes filled with tears" (169). The dialect is the way it is because the author wants the reader to clearly see Celie as a person speaking her mind from her perspective and this makes us understand her better as a character along with the book itself.


message 28: by Kongmeng (new)

Kongmeng Vang | 8 comments The dialect in The Color Purple helps us get a sense of Celie's situation. From the dialect we know that Celie is somewhat educated, but could use work on some spelling and grammar. She also uses lots of slang. If we compare Celie's letters to Nettie's letters, we can see that Nettie was more privileged so she could peruse higher education. Also Celie being Black, at the time that makes her less likely to be well educated.


message 29: by Laura (new)

Laura Thao | 8 comments The dialect in the story The Color Purple is very important because it tells you where the family comes from and also the status of the family. Celie may not have correct grammar at times but that was how she was taught to talk and without proper education she only knew those words. When Celie was trying to learn proper English, she failed only because she hadn't been taught proper English when she was younger.
While when Nettie wrote her letters, hers seemed more proper was because she had gotten a longer education than Celie and also because Nettie loved to read.


Jocelyn (jociicakes) | 12 comments The dialect in The Color Purple reveal to us information about the character, who they are. Nettie's letters were more grammatical because she was more educated, while Celie's letters showed that she was less educated than Nettie, due to how she spelt words just as they sound, the grammar she uses, and diction. The dialect also puts the book into setting of the time period, and location (the Southern culture language).


message 31: by Manny (new)

Manny Yang | 10 comments Dialect is important to The Color Purple because it shows the difference between educated people and less educated people. " Just when I think I've learned to live with the heat, the constant dampness, even steaminess of my clothes, the swampiness under my arms and between my legs " (188) Nettie was the more educated sister, so she uses more proper and bigger words. "Harpo no better at fighting his daddy back than me. " (27) Celie who's less educated uses simple words to describe what she is feeling.


message 32: by Pa Chia (last edited Sep 07, 2014 08:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pa Chia | 10 comments The dialect in this story is important because it pretty much shows how uneducated Celie was since she was less educated than Nettie and it makes us understand Celie's situation/perspective better. With this dialect, we can understand her emotions better as she writes the letter to God. It also gives attitude and serves a purpose of making the readers understand the plot. "Nettie was the more educated sister, so she uses more proper and bigger word." (27). This quote can also explain why Celie has a bad grammar.


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