Monday, February 28, 2011

Celie and Nettie's Relationship

In the exposition of The Color Purple, Celie shares a sisterly love with Nettie. The interesting thing about this love between the two is that Celie also acts like a mother figure to Nettie. This is made evident by the void that is left in Celie's heart when her babies are taken away from her. When her babies are taken away from her by her father, she can no longer be a mother. Nettie fills this void and Celie feels like she has an obligation to care for Nettie. In Celie’s mind, Nettie comes first. Celie cares so much for Nettie that she will even send Nettie off to marry another man just so Nettie can avoid the sexual brutalization that Celie experiences.

In the Rising action of The Color Purple, Celie and Nettie become ever more closer than they were before, and the reader starts to see that Celie and Nettie really care for eachothers welfare. At this point of the book, Nettie and Celie are already separated. Celie is given away to Mr.___ (Albert) and she is the primary source for taking care of the family. Celie is the laborer, the cook, the source of care for the children, and the source of pleasure for Albert. Nettie runs away from her fathers house and she is unexpectedly reunited with Celie. Nettie helps with the day to day chores that Mr.___ assigns Celie and also helps Celie with her studies and reading skills. Celie appreciates how much Nettie believes in her. As is evident, Celie and Nettie share an unbreakable love for eachother.

In the Climax of The Color Purple, there is a bit of a twist in the relationship between Celie and Nettie. At this point in the book, Nettie has been kicked out of Mr.____’s house for cursing and fighting back his attempt to rape her. Because of this incident, Mr.___ promises to Nettie that he will sever there communication and that she will never hear from Celie again. The story goes on and as Nettie promised, she writes to Celie frequently. The problem is, Celie is not receiving any of these letters. Later on in the book, Celie discovers a hidden pile of letters from Nettie. Celie and Nettie connect through these letters. These hidden letters serve as a bridge to their love for one another. Even though they are not physically together, they are emotionally and spiritually together. This is the extent of their relationship during the climax.

In the Resolution of The Color Purple, Celie and Nettie’s emotional and spiritual relationship is brought to an end. At first Celie learns of the sinking of the boat Nettie was on. She can’t believe that Nettie is dead because she still feels Nettie spiritually and emotionally. At the end of the book, this theory that Nettie sank along with the boat turns out to be false. They are reunited once again and now can share an actual relationship without physical restraint.

The relationship between Celie and Nettie is very significant. Celie’s relationship with Nettie is the force that drives her to become a more independent free thinking and smarter person. Nettie’s letters give Celie valuable lessons, and most importantly, hope, something that she needed to get her through life. Celie saw in Nettie hope and this is why she sacrificed herself to live with Mr.____ . In Celie’s eyes Nettie could be spared of all the abuses and have a chance at becoming a teacher. Nettie was smart, she was pretty, she had a decent chance to become someone. Celie was ugly, and she wasn’t as educated.
Throughout The Color Purple, Celie knew this, and with her new hope, she could one day hope to be with her kids and in Nettie’s shoes.

Symbol: Sisterhood

The symbol of sisterhood is an appropriate symbol because Nettie and Celie share a loving relationship throughout the whole story, even though they are not physically together through the whole story, their love for one another is present throughout. At no point in the story did one another hate eachother or lose hope in seeing each other once again. Celie deeply cares for her sister and puts her first acting as the mother. Nettie, discouraged from her letters not getting to Celie does not lose hope in trying to communicate with Celie. She continues to write even though she knows in reality that these letters would probably not get to Celie. “I ast him to take me instead of Nettie…”(7)

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