Discuss race, gender and marginality in Alice Walker's The Color Purple.

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In Alice Walker's The Color Purple, the issues of race, gender, and marginality are critical to the development of theme, plot, and character.  The novel's protagonist Celie is sexually abused by her father who feels that he can exert ultimate control over Celie.  When she gives birth to her children, they are removed from her arms and sent away.  Celie's father often tells her that she is ugly, and he marries her off to a man named Albert who is no less cruel to Celie.  As a result, Celie is largely silenced, and she does not see her own beauty and self-worth.  She is marginalized in her own home and does not feel that she has the power to stand up for herself.  It is only after Celie meets Shug Avery that she begins to appreciate her own inner and outer beauty--she starts to recognize herself as a woman.  The novel thus becomes a chronicle of Celie's self-discovery and her fight to make a place in her home and the world.

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The Color Purple

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