Celie's Quest for Self-discovery
In Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Celie has many misconceptions of herself and her world. Due to her upbringing of pain and mistreatment, and her ignorance of a better world, Celie's image of herself and her own potential is very different from reality. The Color Purple, above all else, is the story of Celie's growth and self-discovery, which she achieves through her own commitment to herself and through the help of Nettie and Shug.
Celie sees herself as ugly and stupid because she was told this by her father and her husband. In her young life, the only person who took the time to care for and encourage Celie was her younger sister Nettie. She took the time to teach Celie from her own schoolwork, after Celie had to leave school because her father had raped her and gotten her pregnant. As Celie says of her home education, as inadequate as it may have been, " Us both be hitting Nettie's schoolbooks pretty hard, cause us know we got to be smart to git away. I know I'm not as smart or as pretty as Nettie, but she say I ain't dumb" (10). Despite the physical, sexual, and verbal abuse Celie suffered from her father, with the help of Nettie she was able to not only survive but also to emerge from her home situation still willing to make her life better. Nettie, who later in the book serves as a silent confidante to Celie, taught her, that above all else, if she knew how to spell G-O-D, she would be alright.
After Celie marries the taciturn and brutish Mr._______ and Nettie runs away, Celie's new guide takes...