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Analysis Of The Use Of Creative Expression In The Color Purple

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When we state, that literary texts employ strategic measures of communication, we often perceive the capability of the language and its importance. Literary writers are also provided with scope of representing their culture, morals as well as traditions through literature without being argumentative but enlightening their readers about the same. In the context of The Color Purple, slavery was one of the prominent themes, illustrated in Contemporary society. Slaves were not given the freedom of speaking their native language and were also denied the right to access education. Thus, they were often resorting to alternative means for expressing their emotions. This led to the emergence of African-American Oral Tradition, which involved tales and stories with a particular form, style and content. These stories were often about incidents which occurred within Africa between the time period, 1910 to 1940 indicating the establishment if White Supremacy in Africa. Different forms of communication, such as Dance, songs and gesture played an important role for narrating the transition of agony to freedom, from generation to generation, through the form of oral tradition.

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  • Use of Creative Expression in shaping Culture – Significance of Creative Expression provides the readers with information regarding the setting of the novel as well as social practices which were followed by a group of people, depicted in the text. Generally, when authors attempt to portray their social customs and traditions through literary texts, they don’t do so by bringing up a single idea. Preferably, they demonstrate their morals and ideas based on its application with day-to-day activities. An example of the same could be referred to Drum Decade Authors, who were mostly Black South African Writers, writing short stories for the Drum Magazine. Simultaneously, social harassment of Blacks was caused through irrational approaches by the government, i.e. segregation of Blacks and Whites in almost all common places, such as schools, restaurants, buses, etc. However, though this oppressive fashion of discrimination continued, a glamorous blend between the informal settlements took place during the 1950s, throwing light on the inception of America’s new identity. As such, Drum Decade’s writers have published about shebeens (unofficial and illegal pubs), jazz, glamorous African females, men in ‘zoot suits’ as well as some of the problems plaguing informal settlements and the nation in particular.
  • Use of Creative Expression for emphasising on Values – Literature helps individuals understand and accept other perspectives about similar topics of discussion such as Values and Morals. Readers are more likely to embrace new forms expression through different literary pieces, such as poetry, prose, novels. etc. If we take an example of the book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, one can learn about the poorest living conditions in the areas of Haiti. Other morals, such as a Doctor’s perseverance and love to his motherland enables him to help people in Haiti, rather than work in lucrative institution in Boston.
  • Use of Creative Expression for highlighting Emotions – Literary texts not only consists of elaborated content about the events taking place in the story, but also captures sentiments of the characters. Innumerable emotions, such as Romance, Brutality, Excitement, Sadness. etc can be wonderfully depicted based on the principle of Creative Expression in literature. For example, when talking about Racine, one of the popular romantic poet and sentimentalist of all time believed in the expression of romance before the Age of Romanticism. Although Alfonso forces Celie to be silent in the novel, she engages in writing letters for expressing her emotions to the readers. Her example of resolute writing to God describes indicates her desire of being heard through writing and not the same orally. Despite, the fact that she never realized her intention of voicing out and expressing her feelings to the readers, it is clear, Celie’s affirmation was confirmed throughout the story. Similarly, Celie’s sister, Nettie writes religiously to Celie, in spite of being unsure about the letters reaching her sister, which eventually occurs towards the end of the novel. This is a classic example for hope or anticipation in human struggle as well providing of valor and solidity for those individuals who suffer from the fear of voicing out. In the last pages of the novel, various characters express their thoughts through the occurrences of contrasting incidents- Shugg recuperates in her health and begins singing again, Mary Agnes engaging in singing and composing songs, Sofie and Celie initiates in making quilts, which leads to Celie opening a business of her own, making pants.

The novel conveys a message on the impact of a new beginning in a small- scale fashion, to pristine realms of success, through perseverance and hard-work. Celie’s letters are orally expressive in nature as they include rhythmic balanced patterns, repetition – antithesis, refrain, application of proverbs and orthodox language, as an attempt of truly expressing herself. Oh, she say. He little. He cute.. Got nice buns.. I don’t say nothing. I pray to die, just so I never have to speak…I went and got A piece of paper… I wrote her note. It said, Shut Up But Celie, she say.. He’s a man. I write on the paper. Yeah, she say…. But… Spare me, I write… At this point, writing is no longer considered to be an unfamiliar form of expression for Celie. In fact, writing helps her attain consolidation and solitude from suffering. Writing also guided Celie to understand and analyze her deepest self- assessed thoughts which were suppressed for over a long period of time. Gradually, Celie learns to be artistically expressive about her sentiments as she incorporates metaphors, instead of merely stating facts about incidents that take place in her daily life. She begins comprehending about the nature of her life events including how she was often exploited by a man, who was like a father. As she goes on to explain about her constant mortification and torment by her husband Albert, she strives to write about them through a correspondence with the experience of herself as well as that of nature, based on the abuses, nature faces – “I make myself wood. I say that to myself, Celie, you a tree. That’s how come I know trees fear man.”

In the following passage, Celie bring about a new means of expression, by speaking and writing with a quasi- verbal approach. Proceeding with the text, we observe an outbreak of metaphors, related to that of nature in order to express emotions such as sadness and happiness. She compares her emotions to elements of nature, such as the trees, earth and the stars. In this manner, she regards herself and nature to be victims of suffering and abuse, she no longer considers herself as an alienated integer. As writing becomes an essential part of her routine, she begins crystallizing her thoughts and starts contemplating about life from her own perspective. In this manner, Celie becomes a bold and empowered woman. Literature is an expression of the lives of the person and of the culture around him. The ideas of the person are seen in the form of literature through language. Literature and life are attributed in an intimate and vibrant manner. The real strength of literature is its human relevance, and thus literature should be composed of many life occurrences. Its value relies on the depth and scope of existence it paints. Literature is excellent because of its universality, since it does not concern a specific culture of a specific community, but rather society as a whole or as a whole. Human and moral values vary according to their era and age. What was valued two hundred years ago is now ignored, and what is destined to be ignored two hundred years later is very valuable. But literature depicts all of it realistically. The characters portrayed in the literature are the specimens of true human beings of their epoch.

Works Cited

  1. Babb, Valerie. “The Color Purple: Writing to Undo What Writing Has Done.” Phylon (1960-), vol. 47, no. 2, 1986, pp. 107–116. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/274537
  2. ‘Literature as a form of Expression.’ Study.com. Study.com, Web. 15 Sep 2019. Roxreth, Kenneth. “Literature.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Enclopadedia Britannica.inc, 22 Feb. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/art/literature.
  3. ‘The Color Purple.’ GradeSaver. GradeSaver, Web. 15 Sep 2019. Fuji Kim. ‘What is the value of literature or a particular piece of literature? what is the value of literature or a particular piece of literature? | eNotes.’ Study Guides, Lesson Plans, Homework Help, Answers & More – eNotes.com. 9 Feb 2009. Web. 15 Sep 2019.
01 February 2021

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