The World Through Alice Walker's Eye The Color Purple Autobiographical

Essay by SHSsoftballstar6High School, 12th gradeA+, February 2005

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Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia. Her mother, Minnie Tallulah Grant Walker, and her father, Willie Lee Walker, were poor sharecroppers. As the eighth and youngest child in the family, she grew up in the midst of violent racism, which combined with her family's poverty left a permanent impression on her writing. Her works are known for their portrayals of the African American woman's life. She depicts vividly the racism and poverty that make that life often a struggle. But she also portrays, as part of that life, the strengths of family and self-worth. Perhaps her most significant service to the world comes in her support of black females. This support comes not only through her teaching and community work, but also through her writings.

In The Color Purple, Walker focuses on the theme of double repression of black women in the American experience.

Walker contends that black women suffer from discrimination by the white community, and from a second repression from black males, who impose the double standard of white society on women. Walker's belief of black women's double repression is vividly displayed in The Color Purple through both Celie and Sophia. While confronting Celie following her and Harpo's first fight, Sophia states "All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men." Sophia has spent her entire life oppressed by men she is supposed to trust; and further into the book this oppression no longer comes from the men in her family, but also from the town's white population. When describing her years in jail and working as a servant for a white family, she says "I...