Purple, Blue- Black and Blues: Womanist Discourses as Resistance Narrative in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple
The Black women have always been the victims of racial and gender discrimination. The marginal space they occupy in the society, have made them aware of a need for sisterhood or bonding between women. The narrative in the black-womanist fiction acts as a resistance to the oppression suffered by them. These womanist discourses empower them and heal them. This paper attempts to mark these nature and music discourses that grant them self-esteem and individuality. These women “sing to the earth and to the sky and to their cassava and groundnuts. Songs of love and farewell.” Alice Walker defines the term ‘womanist’ as “womanist is to feminist as purple to lavender”. (Walker: xi-xii). These womanists “love music, love the moon, love the spirit... Love struggle. Love the Folk. Love herself.” The color purple spreads through out the novel and the blues music provides individuality to the black women. The fight for self-respect is frightening for Celie, the protagonist. She transforms herself in to a tree in moments of pain. “I say to myself, Celie you a tree.” Shug Avery, the Blue singer names Celie in her song, “Miss Celie’s Song” and thereby empowers her. These black women create an alternate garden, where they can celebrate blackness. The role of music and color purple as therapeutic, resistance, womanist discourse would be examined in this paper. The adaptation of this novel as a movie also uses color purple as a major visual tool to bring in to the viewer’s mind, the spirit of the black women. These visuals of color purple in the movie would also be examined as a narrative artifice in the marginalized discourse.
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