Document Type


Publication Date



Characterizations, plot and inner landscapes in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple revolve around – are affected and defined by – a central occurrence that happens long before the major events of the narrative itself. Celie, one of the novel’s major epistolary narrators, believes her father to be someone he is not. Her entire vision of self and being are formed and continually reinforced and shaped by the lie. Hers is a history, hidden from her – her father’s lynching: “too sad a story to tell pitiful little growing girls” (Walker, 181). The narrative’s framework of unmentionable history is framed by its italicized, opening passage: “You better not tell nobody but God” (1).



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.