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

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In her novel, Alice Walker creates a world in which black men demean and dominate black women to make themselves feel less small.

One could distinguish the black women in the novel by placing them into two groups—forceful personalities who fight back against their subjugation and more passive types who are only so because they fear the consequences of rebellion. Sofia, Nettie, and Shug Avery fall into the former group, while Celie and Squeak fall into the latter. However, over the course of the novel, the women become more and less forceful in their self-expression due to circumstances. For example, Sofia's beating at the hands of a mob of whites and her subsequent imprisonment make her meeker, while Celie's discovery of her sexuality and her imagination help her to escape from the confinement...

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