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On Black Female Consciousness in the Color Purple

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DOI: 10.25236/ssah.2018.041


Xia Zhang, Yangjing Ye

Corresponding Author

Xia Zhang


Alice Walker is an Afro-American novelist, poet and activist. The Color Purple is generally acknowledged as her most successful masterpiece, for which she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The story focuses on the life of African-American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s. The heroine Celie who lives in the south, after undergoing double oppression of racism and sexism, finally becomes a physically and mentally independent woman. This paper discusses the process of the awakening of the heroine's black female consciousness in The Color Purple under the racial and gender oppression. On the one hand, through the constant pursuit of self-knowledge, Celie finally finds her new position as a woman, and succeeds in seeking a balance relationship between man and woman in a patriarchal society with the help of sisterhood. On the other hand, with the independence of economy and self-awareness, Celie finds her own way in a race-discriminated society as a black woman. Furthermore, the awakening of black female consciousness on these two aspects ultimately makes the sublimation of the character.


The color purple, Celie, double oppression.