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I understand that I will only be utilizing your custom research for assistance in writing my own paper. I am a 25 year old college student, so the words (vocabulary, diction) utilized for this customized research should be professional and at upper college level. Please include a bibliography with all books used (as below) and films viewed. I require this paper ASAP, by Monday, July 21 (approximately 7 days from now).
***Remember to be specific in your answers and to write clearly and concisely. Avoid summarizing the plot. Write in third person and use the present tense. Use appropriate diction, neither too formal or informal. Avoid repeating the same words. Title should orient reader to the subject of the essay and the author and title of work. Opening indicates author, title and the thesis is established in the first two sentences. Please use quotes directly from the book. There should be at least 15 or more quotations and parenthetical citations. Please try to effectively “weave the quotes” into the sentences when supplying examples to support statements. And please specify the page number/s whenever material from outside sources is paraphrased or quoted or used in any way. Documenting sources should be in MLA format. Please provide me copies of 3 or more sources. Please see the sample essays in Barton and Hudson”s A Contemporary Guide to Literary Terms (this paper should be in line with those sample essays at the end of the book)
These are the specific books involved for this paper:
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Penguin)
Kate Chopin, The Awakening (Penguin)
Alice Walker, The Color Purple (Washington Square Press) + Steven Spielberg”s 1985 version with Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover
Edwin Barton and Glenda Hudson, A Contemporary Guide to Literary Terms (Houghton Mifflin)
Read the text of The Color Purple and the commentary at the end of instructions below. View the film version of the work (Steven Spielberg”s 1985 version with Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover). Then respond to the 2 questions and send it to me VIA EMAIL:
Instructions: Please answer ALL aspects of the following 2 questions. Length should be 2 PAGES @ 275 words per page – Question 1 should be answered in the 1st page and Question 2 should be answered in the 2nd page. Make sure that your comments do not overlap; for example, if you discuss The Color Purple in Question 1, do not deal with this text in Question 2.
Question 1: Compare the film version of The Color Purple with the original book. Consider, in particular, the handling of feminist issues in the text and the film version. Does the film enhance the fiction with its visual and dramatic effects? Or does the film version of the fictional text suffer from a diminishing of subtle thematic and stylistic effects?
Question 2: Trace one feminist issue or a cluster of feminist issues in The Awakening and Jane Eyre. Make careful comparisons between the treatment of the issue(s) in the works. You may also make brief references to the film versions of these 2 books. How do the writers depict the role of men and women in society? What is the tone of their work? Use plenty of examples to substantiate your points.
Commentary: Analysis of Text: Walker as a “Womanist” Writer
Alice Walker has described herself as a “womanist” writer. Her definition of “womanist” is useful to consider as a context for The Color Purple. For Walker, a “womanist” is “a black feminist or feminist of color. From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, ”You acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman. Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous, or willful behavior. Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered “good” for one. . . . A woman who loves other women. . . . Appreciates and prefers women”s culture, women”s emotional flexibility . . . and women”s strength. . . . Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female.” Her definition very much applies to The Color Purple, especially to the characters of Celie and Shug.
Epistolary Form and the Bildungsroman
The term epistolary is an adjectival form of epistle, which was traditionally a name for a formal letter; thus, in an epistolary novel, the narrative is conveyed by means of letters from one character to another as in The Color Purple. Samuel Richardson”s Pamela (1740-1) and Clarissa (1748) are perhaps the most famous epistolary novels in English. Other well-known examples of the epistolary novel include Shamela (1741), Fielding”s parody of Pamela; Burney”s Evelina (1778); and Smollett”s Humphry Clinker (1778). Although the genre largely disappeared after the eighteenth century, letters were still employed to great effect in nieenth-century novels such as Jane Austen”s Pride and Prejudice (1814).
Alice Walker”s The Color Purple (1982) is a contemporary revival of the epistolary form, in which the narrative is carried forth by means of the protagonist”s letters to God and her correspondence with her sister. In the opening chapter, Celie heeds her father”s warning that “You better not never tell nobody [about her forced incest] but God” by addressing a letter:
I am fourteen years old. . . I have always been a good girl. Maybe you can give me a sign letting me know what is happening to me.
Near the middle of the novel, Celie begins to read a series of letters from her sister Nettie, from whom she has been forcibly separated:
I wrote a letter to you almost every day on the ship coming to Africa. But by the time we docked I was so down, I tore them into little pieces and dropped them into the water. Albert is not going to let you have my letters and so what use is there in writing them. That”s the way I felt when I tore them up and sent them to you on the waves. But now I feel different.
In this way, the audience is permitted access to the thoughts and feelings of the sisters through their letters. For more information on the epistolary novel, see the entry for the term in Barton and Hudson”s A Contemporary Guide to Literary Terms.
In addition to being an epistolary novel, The Color Purple is also a Bildungsroman or novel of development (see entry in A Contemporary Guide to Literary Terms). The novel presents the various stages of Celie”s life and her emergence as an independent woman. The text reveals the effect of oppression on her spirit and charts the growth of her internal strength.
The Color Purple and Creativity
The novel is very much concerned with the making of art, particularly the female creative process. For many of the female characters, art is a way for them to express themselves. Expressing themselves is a way out of subjugation. Shug is a singer, and her singing frequently has a subversive quality. For example, Shug uses a song to resist Albert”s father, an archetypal patriarchal figure. Shug hums outside the house as the old man describes her deficiencies to his son inside. Shug also writes and performs the “Song for Celie.” Not only does this song manifest Shug”s creative power, but it also reveals how Celie has inspired her and been part of the creative process. Another woman liberated by singing is Squeak/Mary Agnes. In the first part of the text, this character is quiet, submissive, and “squeaky” voiced. Later on, she follows the example of Shug and learns how to make herself heard.
Other creative processes in the text are sewing, spinning, and quilting. Alice Walker compared the writing of The Color Purple to the making of a quilt: “I bought some beautiful blue and red and purple fabric. . . . a quilt pattern my mamma swore was easy . . . my quilt began to grow. Celie and Shug and Albert were getting to know each other.” Sewing is a necessary activity for Celie, but it also takes on a symbolic meaning in that it objectifies solidarity and bonding, especially female bonding. It comes to indicate connection and heritage, as for example when Celie embroiders the name “Olivia” on her baby”s diapers. Elsewhere in the text, quilting is the means by which harmony between women is reestablished. Celie encourages Harpo to beat Sophia because she is jealous of her; in retaliation, Sophia angrily gives back the thread and household items which Celie made for her. The women eventually are reconciled, and the first quilt they make together comes from these items Sophia returned. The quilt symbolizes female bonding and mutual commitment on the part of the women to Sophia”s equality in her marriage.
Shug also becomes involved in quilting and works together with Celie on a pattern called “Sister”s Choice.” Shug”s faith in Celie encourages her to create her own pants business. Celie signs her letters “Folkspants Unlimited, Sugar Avery Drive, Memphis, Tennessee,” revealing that she is now more forceful, and that she has the confidence to claim her own space. The formerly plain, servile, docile Celie is now a success at work and in her personal life. In other words, she is a Cinderella figure in the novel. And like Cinderella, Celie”s clothes change as she becomes happier and more successful.
Even Albert begins to sew. The shared African-American heritage is stressed when Nettie remarks that the Olinka men make beautiful quilts. Albert reinforces the connection with African men and redeems himself by sharing in work considered to be traditionally female in his own country. As they work together on the porch, Celie comments “Now us sit sewing and talking and smoking our pipes.” The phrase highlights the overturning of gender identity (women traditionally sew, and men traditionally smoke). Moreover, the use of the first person plural pronoun (“us”) emphasizes the solidarity between the characters.
Love and The Color Purple
This contemporary novel is a celebration of female sexuality. Women express their right to pleasure, and lesbian love is especially significant in the text (although it is noticeably absent in Spielberg”s film version). The Color Purple is concerned with the bonds between blood sisters (Celie and Nettie) and also by extension with honorary “sisters” (Sophia, Shug). Women”s love for each other helps them to survive and to stave off men”s brutality. Celie”s love for Shug is both sexual and spiritual. According to critic Barbara Christian, it is intended to conjure up “a vision of sensual spirituality,” a vision of nature”s essence as symbolized by the color purple.
There is no lesbian subculture in The Color Purple because Shug and Celie do not have contact with other lesbians. Noheless, their relationship is very positive because it benefits an entire community of males and females. Celie loves Shug because she transcends gender and possesses an androgynous quality. She is overtly sensual and direct in expressing her desires. She insists on her right to pleasure and helps Celie to realize this quality. Celie originally views herself as ugly and undesirable, but as her relationship with Shug develops, she becomes more confident. Other characters also notice the transformation in her and come to see her natural beauty which Shug has helped to uncover and enhance.
Brief Analysis of Film Version of The Color Purple
Spielberg”s film version highlights the sororal solidarity of Celie and Nettie. Scenes of the sisters handclapping and of Nettie teaching Celie to read accentuate their love and affection. In addition, the film uses images effectively. For example, low angle shots are used to make Albert seem larger and more menacing as he towers over the young Celie. Several shots of Celie looking out of the window are used in the film to emphasize how she is confined to the sphere of the house. And the film employs dramatic juxtaposition of scenes in Africa and in America to reinforce the great gap between the lives of the two sisters.
In general, the film has been made more suitable for a mass audience. The language of the novel has been toned down. Moreover, the lesbian scenes are almost entirely eliminated. Shug Avery”s role has been diminished. In the film, the rebellious, liberated Shug is not motivated by “womanist” urges but by a desire for the approval of her father, the preacher. She tells him she is married, shows him her ring, and weeps with joy when he embraces her. In addition, the film does not focus as much on the evolution of Albert. In particular, in the film version omits the important scene where he sits and sews with the women.
Christian, Barbara. “The Black Woman Artist as Wayward.” Alice Walker. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1988. 39-58
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