Discuss the title of the novel The Colour Purple.  

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The title draws attention to the importance of colour in this brilliant novel and how brighter colours are linked to the experience of liberation that characters achieve at various points. For example, when Kate goes with Celie shopping for a new dress, note the way in which the only options for colour are very drab. However, when Celie and Sofia make a quilt together they use the bright yellow fabric from Shug's dress. Lastly, the colour purple is explicitly related to Celie's religious understanding of God when she marvelled about the fact that she never noticed the wonders of God's creation, such as "the colour purple":

Well, us talk and talk about God, but I’m still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). . . .

Through such thoughts Celie is able to reimagine her concept of God and not see him as a white male who oppresses her but rather as an entity who can be a source of wonder and marvels, as expressed through his creation and nature.

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