Alice Walker explores various thematic concerns in her book ‘The Color Purple. Written in simple, verbal, and direct language, the reader is quickly able to see through the developing issues, which mostly revolve around relationships and family issues. In this regard, Walker brings into focus family life, gender violence, and sexuality.
Family life forms center stage in the development of the plot. In actual senses, several family relationships can be identified depending on the context. Just to mention a few, first, we come across the nuclear family in which Celie and Nettie exist with their abusive father Alphonso. Secondly, Celie gets married to Mr/Albert forming new family. Thirdly, Nettie finally comes to discover her true lineage, which leads to the development of another intertwined family structure (Walker, 1992). These families reveal the challenges experienced in a normal family life situation.
Incidents of gender violence can be strongly picked out from the plot of the Walker’s story. The first painful incident involves the repeated rapes that Celie silently undergoes from her father leading to several pregnancies (Walker, 1992). This violence is extended even when Celie gets married to Mr. Albert. This events show the manner in which gender violence had taken route in that society leading to the treatment of women as mere sexual objects.
Finally, Walker also brings out the issue of human sexuality with regard to orientation. The most conspicuous attempt is seen where Shug Avery and Celie develop a queer friendship in which Shug shows Celie the elements of feminine sexuality. In her view, Celie is yet to unlock her utmost sexual passion because all this time she has never made love to someone she genuinely loves (Walker, 1992). As these events develop Celie and Shug become attracted to each other in what appears like to be diverting from a straight orientation. In essence, Walker examines a multitude of issues which help the reader to understand family life, gender violence, and sexuality.