This question has so many potential answers! This novel is so rich with life lessons that every reader could potentially take something different away from his/her reading of the text. I will give you a couple of ideas by sharing briefly some life lessons that I have taken from Walker's Pulitzer-Prize winning story:
First, The Color Purple teaches that women, with the help and support of other women, can endure unbelievable hardships, difficulties, and struggles and not only survive, but also prosper. It teaches that women can actually survive without depending upon men. In an interview, Alice Walker sums up this idea:
"It's a book mostly about women, and what they're doing, and how they're carrying on no matter what the men are doing . . . I think that for many men at that time it was a shock that you could actually write a novel with women at the centre."
Second, this novel teaches that with forgiveness and reconciliation comes peace. As terrible as Albert treats Celie, she finds it within herself to reconcile herself with him by the end of the story. This is not for his sake; it is for hers. She has learned by this time to seek for peace within herself from a most unlikely source--Shug Avery:
“Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it."
Celie searches for God throughout the story by writing letters to her perception of who God is, but it is not until her perception is changed that she finds Him. This comes with finding peace within herself.