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The Color Purple: Essay and Short Answer Questions
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THE COLOR PURPLE QUESTIONS
- Journal Entry #1 The Color Purple (pages 1-75) If all authors have a purpose in their writing, what is Walker’s purpose in using the words some would deem “inappropriate” in TCP? Why doesn’t she use words that are more acceptable and less potentially offensive? How does her word choice tie in to her characterization? ( minimum one page)
- Journal Entry #2 The Color Purple (do not do before page 170’ish) Let’s talk about L-O-V-E It appears that each character in this book has her/his own definition of “love”. Chose three characters and discuss the role that love plays in their life. Who do they love? Does love enhance or detract from their life? Discuss how they view love, its importance, its relevance and the role it plays in their day-to-day interactions within the pages of the book. ( minimum two pages)
- Journal #3 Religion in The Color Purple How does Celie’s view of religion change throughout the book? Why does it undergo such a change? Talk about Shug Avery’s version of religion and God. How is it the same as yours? Different? Do you agree with some parts and not the others? (Write at least one page, please.)
- Journal #4 The Color Purple This book has been criticized for its negative portrayal of African-American men. Do you agree or disagree that the men in this book are shown in a negative light? Why or why not? What do the male characters say about human nature in general? (one page)
- Journal #5 The Element of Change Most of the major characters in this story are dynamic, meaning that they undergo some major mental or emotional change. Which character changes the most from beginning to end? What aspects of their personality change? Is this change realistic? Several characters are one way, change and then change back to their original state of being—choose one character that does this and explain whether this change-change back scenario benefited or hurt them. (two pages)
AFTER YOU’VE READ…
- All protagonists have a goal; what are Celie’s goals?
- Does she achieve these goal? Are there any goals she does NOT succeed in attaining?
- What is the climax of this novel? Support your answer with evidence.
- What is the THEME(s) of this novel? Provide two quotes as evidence.
- Could Celie have changed as much as she did w/out Shug’s influence? Why or why not?
- Why is it significant that Celie’s business is one in which she makes pants? What do the pants symbolize?
- What does the color purple symbolize? Why is it used as the title for this book?
About this Document
I assign this book to read over ever fall break or spring break, and I give these essay questions (some 1-2 page responses, some paragraph-length responses) as an assignment to be turned in the first day back.