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The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

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Why does Alice Walker use blank lines for Mr. Albert in The Color Purple? Why is the novel named The Color Purple?

Quick answer:

In Alice Walker's The Color Purple, the blank lines for Mr. Albert symbolize Celie's evolving attitudes towards her husband. Initially, Celie uses "Mr. -----" out of awe, but as she grows, it becomes an expression of her disgust and disrespect. By the end, her use of Albert's given name reflects her personal growth and self-confidence.

Expert Answers

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Studying Alice Walker's early life reveals her attitudes toward men, particularly abusive, insensitive men such as Albert.  Walker has said in interviews that Celie initially expresses her awe of her husband by referring to him as "Mr.-----."  As she grows spiritually and mentally, she uses "Mr. -----" as an expression of her disrespect and disgust for Albert.  At the end of the novel, when Celie has matured and become comfortable with herself, she finally uses her husband's given name as a symbol of her growth and self-confidence.

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