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The Color Purple Wisom Theme

1465 words - 6 pages

Wisdom is more than just knowledge - it is the application of gained knowledge and experience after extensive contemplation. It is a vital trait that one must possess in order to live purposefully and harmoniously. From the present predicaments of the world like the Sri Lankan and Gaza wars, it is apparent that the lack of wisdom is the catalyst to conflicts and chaos. In The Color Purple, Alice Walker's protagonist Celie is an African-American who has suffered from childhood abuse and injustice. However, as time progresses, she is able to learn from her experiences and friends to overcome the oppression of the men. From the novel, it is evident that wisdom is an essential tool to free ...view middle of the document...

It is through communication and compromise that conflicts can be resolved. Harpo does not understand this and his foolishness results in unhappiness. Like Harpo, Celie lacks the wisdom to overcome her internal conflict. When Harpo asks her for advice regarding his concerns about Sofia, she instructs him to beat her. Sofia is furious when she learns of this and confronts Celie, demanding an answer to the outrageous suggestion. Celie replies, "I say it cause I'm a fool …I say it cause I'm jealous of you. I say it cause you do what I can't" (40). Celie admits that she is jealous of Sofia's ability to stand up for herself. However, because she is unable to handle with her emotions, she imprudently recommends Harpo to beat his wife. Celie does not realize her thoughtless counsel will actually exacerbate her situation, as it eventually forces Sofia away and causes Celie to lose a female supporter. Moreover, it damages the relationship between the two women and the marriage of Harpo and Sofia. Without the tools of wisdom, harmony cannot be sown and peace will not be yielded. Altogether, both Harpo and Celie are incapacitated of good judgment and acuity. As a result, they are unable to prevail over their conflicts and attain serenity. Thus, it is through perspicacity that people are able live in amity and concord and strive for liberty.Past experiences provide people with the wisdom necessary to attain independence and liberation. After Celie and Sofia reconcile, Sofia recounts an adversity she encounters from her childhood. She remembers fighting the male figures in her family in order to overcome the injustice of sexism. She explains that the "Boys big and strong ….but all the girls stick together" (41). From the trials of her youth, Sofia learns how to surmount the obstacles of life. She emphasizes that women must support one another to rise above the inequality of society; the strength of a strong sisterhood surpasses the subjugation of men. Therefore, while the force of an individual is limited, the power of a team is potent. It is through this lesson that she is able to confront Harpo confidently, knowing that her sisters would always be there for her. Another character who builds her knowledge upon past experiences is Shug Avery, a voluptuous singer and Albert's lover. Although she is shunned by society, she is the first woman that Celie encounters with a strong sense of independence. When Shug is sick, Albert takes her in and consequently, Celie begins to bond with her. Later on, Shug teaches her that "You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall" (197). From the events in her life, Shug learns that women cannot let the thought of men dominate them. In order to see the beauty of nature and their existence, women must rid themselves of all hindrances. Although injustice is still present in society, mentally freeing themselves will allow them to find independence. Celie acknowledges that after learning...

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