In The Color Purple, Alice Walker writes of a predominantly sexist setting through the frequent beating of women, the stereotypes cast upon people, and the thoughts and feelings of the Olinka peoples. The author writes about the common and frequent beating of Celie by her father as discipline and of Mr. _____ to present a sexist setting. To show the predominantly sexist setting, Alice Walker includes the stereotypes cast upon people such as Celie’s wearing and making of pants and Mr. _____’s sewing. The writer includes the thoughts and feelings of the Olinka people through their not educating females and their thought of a woman’s ideal role.
The thoughts and feelings of the Olinka people are depicted through their choice to not educate females when Nettie asks an Olinka why she thinks this and when Tashi’s father tells Nettie that there is no place for women to have important careers. While in Africa, Nettie asks an Olinka woman why they choose to not have their daughters educated, and the woman responds, “only to her husband can [a woman] become something” and she later goes on to say that she can become “the mother of his children;” these remarks imply that Olinka women are meant to be mothers and nothing else that they would enjoy (Walker 162). When Nettie informs Tashi’s father of his daughter’s great intelligence and the great careers she could pursue, he immediately responds “there is no place here for women to do those things;” this shows how the men of the Olinkas have it preset in their mind that women should not have the same career as a man does; this, along with stereotypes, add to the sexist setting.
The stereotypes cast upon people show the sexist setting when it is found out that Mr. _____ sewed as a child with his mama and when Celie predicts what Albert will think if she wears pants. Albert admits to Celie that he “use[d] to try to sew along with [his] mama;” this goes against the common stereotype that men do not sew (Walker 279). When Shug spontaneously decides that she should make a pair of pants for Celie to wear; Celie states “Mr. _____ not going to let his wife wear pants” without even asking him his opinion. Along with these stereotypes, the common beating of women adds to the sexist setting (Walker 152).
The common beating of Celie by her father in her youth and by Albert to dominate her both help contribute to the sexist setting on the book. While in church one day, Celie’s father catches her eying a boy and when she goes home, Celie write in her letter to God that “[she] don’t even look at mens,” and then says the she does look at women “cause [she’s] not scared of them;” this demonstrates the fear that she has of men from her abusive father (Walker 6). When Harpo has a conversation, Celie tells him “[if] you don’t do what he say, he beat you;” this shows that Celie has learned this lesson by simply not obeying a command in The Color Purple (Walker 66).
Through the common beating of women, the stereotypes cast upon people, and the attitudes of the Olinka people, Alice walker writes about a predominantly sexist setting in The Color Purple. Walker writes about his to show how things really were in black as well as white culture in the past. If Alice Walker were to write about something more recent, she would write about sexism and discrimination of other cultures or religions.
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