Pants: More than just a leg covering

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

This was the first time I had read this classic despite it being on my radar for a looooong time. (I haven't seen the film either...) I have quite a few thoughts about this novel. In fact, I ended up taking notes so that I could let the story sink in a little further before I wrote up my final review.This is a story of oppression in a variety of forms. The setting is rural Georgia (although we do jump to Africa for a portion). It's written in journal format primarily by the main character, Celie, a young black woman coming into her own in the early 1900's. There are a lot of themes in this book besides oppression. One of the biggest is sexual awakening and liberation (not just sexual). Also, pants. Pants play a major role and symbolize independence, comfort, and self-sufficiency to name but a few. This book is teeming with powerful women. The strength of women is shown in a variety of forms. There is Sofia who is physically strong but is torn down by the constraints of her race. However, she learns how to build herself back up and to be better than before. There is Mary Agnes who is originally called Squeak but finds her voice in more ways than one. There's Nettie who might be my favorite as she used her chance of happiness wisely. She stayed strong in her faith not only of God but her sister. Good can happen to good people. There's Shug who can be a difficult character to like. She does what (and who) that she wants and she doesn't apologize for it which is probably the point. Women are taught that we should apologize for doing the same things men do. It is through her that happiness (and pants) makes its way into Celie's life. Then there is our main character, Celie, who had the toughest time and experienced the most growth. Spoiler alert ahead! The character goes from a frightened, sexually abused child to a confident woman in a polyamorous relationship. The book has been adapted for film, stage, and radio. Its message is a timeless one. If you haven't had the opportunity (or the inclination) to read this classic I think there's no better time than the present. :-)


PS I told you I had a lot to say. XD