Film: "The Color Purple" - Sociological Analysis.

Essay by alexandro_420High School, 12th gradeA, May 2006

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"The Color Purple" is a very powerful film that tells the story of Celie, a poor black woman living in the old south. The film begins at her childhood and follows her up to old age. She was raped and abused by her father as a young woman and was sent to marry and equally abusive man, Albert. The various people in Celie's household may seem strange in their actions to an outsider. However, if one examines the actions of the characters, their behabiors can be explained, and sometimes justified, by the systems theory, symbolic interactionism and finally, developmental theory.

The systems theory attemps to explain how groups of individuals interact as a system. Within this system, there are also subsystems. However, a change in one member will affect all of the other members in that system. The large system in the family is obviously the family itself.

It is comprised of Celie, Albert, and Albert's children. There are also two subsystems. The "marital" subsytem is Celie and Alber and the sibling subsytem includes all of Albert's children. Everyone in the family does everything they can to keep Albert happy. Celie never talks back to him (until the end) and the children obey his every order. If Albert becomes angry, the whole household feels it and he even goes as far as beating Celie. The greatest example of this theory comes when Celie finaly leaves Albert. After Celie left, Albert's home became a total wreck. One member of the family, Celie, had a very profound effect on the organization of the whole household. As Albert's father stated, "You need a young girl to fix up all this mess". Albert had Celie, but lost her because of his tyranical ways.

The theory of symbolic interactionism explains the behaviours of...