The Color Purple The Color Purple discussion


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why the color PURPLE?

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dbemg Have you read the book yet? It's ages since I read it but the colour comes up a lot in the book I think. There's definitely an instance where the author mentions Celie's purple bruises, and I think she also talks a lot about purple flowers, maybe purple dresses, beautiful things that are purple. I'd say your best bet would be to have a read through, pick out some of the instances that the colour purple is used and see if you can notice any themes emerging.

For instance, (and I dont really remember the book enough so I might be wrong) but does Celie redefine the colour purple from representing her pain and suffering (the bruises) to meaning beauty (the flowers) as the book progresses? Then you could say it's a metaphor for the way Celie redefines herself, and of her growing sense of autonomy. But that really might be wrong so do check the actual text and see for yourself. Usually with a big extended metaphor like this you will find that there are a few meanings, all equally as valid.

Hope this helped :-)


Barbara Hi Gabriella,

"The Color Purple" is one of my favorite books by Alice Walker so when I read your message it intrigued me. I found the following explanation at: http://www.harcourtbooks.com/colorpur...
Celie longs to wear purple, a color she associates with royalty and with vibrant women such as Shug, and a color she thinks God may have created in order to receive love. In the novel’s glorious conclusion, she surrounds herself with purple. What makes this color special—special enough to become the novel’s title?
You can also get some additional insight right here at goodreads from Alice Walker at this page: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes...
I hope you find this info helpful.
Barbara


message 3: by Jai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jai In the movie as well Shug talks about what the color Purple itsef represents. I love the movie!!


Sophie I thought that it was a reflection of Celie as a lesbian considering purple is often associated with homosexuality. I'm sure it has quite a few meanings though


message 5: by Jai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jai @Spohie I never heard of homosexuality being associated with the color purple. Actually the rainbox is for the LGBT community. I'm apart of the community so I know lol


E.C. Moore Barbara wrote: "Hi Gabriella,

"The Color Purple" is one of my favorite books by Alice Walker so when I read your message it intrigued me. I found the following explanation at: http://www.harcourtbooks.com/color..."


Great answer.


Sophie @Jai Yeah the rainbow is the main symbol of homosexuality but purple is often used at LGBT demonstrations e.g. the purple hand. To be honest it may be a little far fetched though


message 8: by Jai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jai I never saw that at any demonstrations per se but I never considered Celie to be gay because she slept with Shug. Possibly bisexual but she felt unloved by a Mister so anyone showing her love whether man or woman she would have turned to.


Geoffrey I lived in Boston for 15 years. The color purple was openly acknowledged as their color.


Barbara E.C. wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Hi Gabriella,

"The Color Purple" is one of my favorite books by Alice Walker so when I read your message it intrigued me. I found the following explanation at: http://www.harcour..."


Hi E.C.,
Thanks for your compliment.....
Barbara


Barbara Jai wrote: "In the movie as well Shug talks about what the color Purple itsef represents. I love the movie!!"

Hi Jai,
I also love the movie and have watched it numerous times...I always cry when the same scenes come on and especially at the end when she is with her sister again. It's a very special movie with a beautiful soundtrack.
Barbara


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Purple is also a spiritual colour and so fit with the themes in this book http://colourtherapyhealing.com/colou...


Cheryl Sometimes it is not about the bigger things sometimes the simplest of things is what turns a tide. The statement made about the color purple is one of the simplest of things.


Brooklyn Ann The title comes from a direct quote by Shug Avery. "I think it pisses God off when you walk past the color purple in a field and don't notice."


Geoffrey Yes, Brooklyn, but there's more significance to Walker's choice of title than just that.


Brooklyn Ann I imagine so. :)


CeeCee James That is a great question, and I love the answers here.


Charvella Campbell Gabriella wrote: "I don't really get it. A fellow classmate have asked our teacher and I've tried to look for answers online, but I don't have much of an idea of why it is The Color Purple, not Green or Yellow or Re..."

I've read the book twice and also viewed the film. My theory on The Color Purple is that the title represents symbolism. There is the literal, beautiful color of purple itself. Then, a deeper thread runs throughout the story. Celie communicates with God on most everything, so the beautiful creation and surroundings, such as a field of purple flowers, assures her of his presence. Even when Celie is feeling despondent, she relies on God's 'listening ear' so to speak.


message 19: by Jai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jai Brooklyn wrote: "The title comes from a direct quote by Shug Avery. "I think it pisses God off when you walk past the color purple in a field and don't notice.""

That is what I think it's referrring to as well. I remember her saying that in the movie.


Brooklyn Ann It's one of my many favorite lines in the book!


message 21: by Erin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erin Daisy wrote: "For instance, (and I don't really remember the book enough so I might be wrong) but does Celie redefine the colour purple from representing her pain and suffering (the bruises) to meaning beauty (the flowers) as the book progresses? Then you could say it's a metaphor for the way Celie redefines herself, and of her growing sense of autonomy.

What a beautiful way to phrase this. I have only seen the movie and just this moment bought the e-book. Thank you for your eloquent words...


dbemg Erin wrote: "Daisy wrote: "For instance, (and I don't really remember the book enough so I might be wrong) but does Celie redefine the colour purple from representing her pain and suffering (the bruises) to mea..."

Thank you, I find it to be a really beautiful text, hope you enjoy reading it! :-)


message 23: by Jai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jai I recently purchased the book so that I can reread it...I definitely need a newer perspective after reading it when I was younger


Quiltyknitwit Purple doesn't seem to occur in nature as often as other colors, so it's special.
I love the answers other people have posted here too!


message 25: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary It would piss God off it wasn't purple! I used to grow purple cosmos:)


Merry Brooklyn wrote: "The title comes from a direct quote by Shug Avery. "I think it pisses God off when you walk past the color purple in a field and don't notice.""

I think this is the reason for the title !


message 27: by K. (last edited Feb 12, 2015 02:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

K. Malone I'm pretty sure it's from the early part of the book where Celie goes looking for dress and she wanted a purple one but the store had every other color BUT purple leaving her down cast and dissatisfied, a metaphor, I think for her life. I'm going to recheck it and get back to you.

Okay, I got it, on page 28 of my 1983 edition. One of Mister's sisters, Kate, takes Celie to the store. The passage goes-

"She go with me in the store. I think what color Shug Avery would wear. She like a queen to me so I say to Kate, Somethin purple, maybe a little red in it too. But us look an look an no purple. Plenty red but she say, Naw, he won't want to pay for red. Too happy lookin. We got choice of brown, maroon or navy blue. I say blue.
I can't remember ever being the first one in my own dress. Now to have one made just for me. I try to tell Kate what it mean. I git hot in the face and stutter.
She say. it's all right, Celie. You deserve more than this.
Maybe so. I think."

But I also agree with Brooklyn above. I think it's probably a running metaphor.


message 28: by Nea (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nea This book is, in large part, about the inner freedom that comes with spiritual growth. Shug says that she found God in nature rather than in church, so she explains the importance of stopping to notice the little ways God tries to please us. One way is with the things that don't occur often in nature... like the color purple. I don't have the exact quote, but this was explicitly stated.


message 29: by K. (new) - rated it 4 stars

K. Malone Its most definitely a running metaphor winding through the book like a shoelace leading to leading to the culmination in Shug's statement about God.


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