Describe The Color Purple formally. What is the plot structure in the novel The Color Purple and what type of novel is it?  

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alice Walker's novel is an epistolary novel. This means that it takes the form of a series of epistles or letters. A majority of the novel is consists of letters written by the protagonist, Celie, sometimes addressed to God and sometimes to her sister, Nettie. Letters from Nettie to Celie also form a portion of the narrative. 

The term, epistolary novel, describes Walker's novel formally. 

Dear God,

Mr. ______ finally come right out an ast for Nettie hand in marriage. But He won't let her go. He say she too young, no experience. Say Mr. ______ got too many children already.

Regarding plot, the novel is structured mostly in chronological order with occasional moments of disordered sequence once Nettie's letters are introduced to the text. 

The story of the novel moves forward in time, dwelling in certain periods of time and skipping over others. The effect of this movement of and through time is a sense of an event-driven narrative that works like a loose biography.