Celie's journey toward self-definition in The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, is filled with moments of growth as well as of tragedy and abuse. Throughout her life she is mistreated and put down. While bad things continue to happen to her, Celie's instinct to survive never fails. Through her letters to God and her younger sister Nettie, and through her relationship with Shug, Celie begins to overcome adversity and see herself as a person who has value and who deserves to be treated with respect. These are the things that Celie went through in her shruggle for survival with mister.
When the book begins, Celie is a 14-year-old girl growing up in Georgia, when she is faced with the ultimate child abuse. She is repeatedly raped by her stepfather and becomes pregnant by him twice. She has almost no self-worth or self-esteem. She doesn't even fully understand what has happened to her or what she has done to deserve it.
To help her cope with the abuse and to help sort out her feelings, Celie writes letters to God. The first lines of her first letter show her sense of worthlessness. "Dear God, I am fourteen years old. I am, I have always been a good girl. Maybe you can give me a sign letting me know what is happening to me" (p. 1). The way she crosses out I am, and replaces it with I have, shows she no longer views herself as a good girl.
Unfortunately for Celie, her life continues to be filled with abusive people. Her stepfather marries her off to Mr. ____, who does not love her, respect her or treat her with any decency whatsoever. He just wants her to take care of him and his kids. She is almost...