In the book The Color Purple, Celie and the other characters' development grew drastically throughout the whole novel. The way female characters got treated and abused is sickening. Celie, especially, showed growth tremendously using courage and strength to develop herself into a stronger woman by the way she dealt with being treated so poorly throughout the whole novel. Self-love and perseverance are needed and used throughout the story especially with Celie and the other women characters.
One of the most valuable lessons that anyone could be taught is within the novel. Throughout The Color Purple, Shug showed Celie something that she could not find herself. She taught her what self-love was and this allowed Celie to love others. The only person that Celie ever loved was her sister, Nettie. However, the love Shug showed her was an intimate love. An example that supports this is, “They Celie and Shug become lovers and partners only after first becoming trusted friends and companions, working for the common goals in the spirit of equality” (Harris Abrams). This showed Celie that she was important and that she meant something to others, contrary to what she’d always believed. Additionally, as Celie changed her views on how important she was, she also changes her religious views. Before she loved herself, Celie only viewed God as a figure she saw in church, but once she was introduced to self-love, she saw God in many different places. Walker writes, “I been so busy thinking about him I never truly noticed nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) Not the color purple (where it come from?) Not the little wildflowers. Nothing” (Walker 197). This shows self-love, she had drifted from the small-minded, traditional Christian views.
Another reason the novel is a valuable piece of literature is that it shows the trait of perseverance with characters. Celie had gone through rape and abuse throughout her entire life. Her stepfather raped her at a young age and her husband, Albert, would beat her when she didn’t listen to him. Even going through all of that, she still realized that she was important to others and that her life really did matter. The novel is not about her experiences of being raped and beaten; it is about finding herself after the years, Likewise, Victoria Bond, a writer for the New Republic, stated “that the novel was not about the domestic violence inflicted by the patriarch, but it was about the increase in women’s strengths” (Bond). Furthermore, Celie is not the only character in the novel that displays perseverance. “Sofia’s strength and sass show us the most harmful effect of the strong black woman stereotype: It makes her more vulnerable to both domestic unrest and civil attack, foretelling for black women violence as a response to mistreatment” (Bond). Sofia, Harpo’s wife, showed a greats amount of perseverance. After she and Harpo got married, he then tried to beat her. However, showing strength and courage, she fought back to ultimately protect herself. Additionally, when she was offered a job by a white woman, she felt insulted and hit the woman. Sofia was then put in jail and she experienced horrific beatings from people. Sofia showed a lot of perseverance throughout all the circumstances and events she went through to stay true to herself and all her beliefs. Another example is the novel that shows perseverance is when, Albert says, “Well how you spect to make her mind? Wives is like children. You have to let’em know who got the upper hand. Nothing can do that better than a good sound beating” (Walker 35). This is directed at Harpo and is such a cruel statement towards a human being.