The Color Purple Parable
According to Scholl’s article, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, is a parable. In classifying a story as a parable, Scholl determines that a parable must be a “movement through a realistically improbable sequence of narrative reversals toward a conclusion that defies realistic expectations.” (Scholl, 255) These reversals are very evident throughout the novel and render the conclusion unrealistic. In almost every character, there is an ironic reversal of what should happen and what does happen.
With the main character Celie, she overcomes her hardships with her childhood and marriage to achieve complete happiness. Her childhood consists of a father that rapes her and gives her kids away. He also gives her away to a man known as Mr. ___. He too beats her and does not allow her to see her sister, Nettie. Celie falls in love with another woman who allows her to start her life over. Shug Avery gets her away from her husband, Mr. ___, and allows her to start her own financially independent life, as a pant producer. The only thing Celie lacks in order to achieve total happiness is her sister who has been in Africa and her kids, who her father took away. They too are given back to Celie at the end of the book. This reversal from a sure bleak and meaningless life to one of total happiness is a direct contradiction to the social norm of what the reader would assume.
Shug Avery also has a reversal in character. At first she is presented as an ungodly woman who sings in bars. She had become a smoker and an alcoholic, who had slept with a lot of men and is said to possibly have some unclean disease. Shug had become very sickly when she met Celie. By the end of the novel, she returns to the church and also goes back to her father, who had exiled her...