In the hands of the oppressor, freedom is somethingearned not given.
Alphonso abuses Celie for a very long time and this destroysher. When one is abused this excessively, they will believe that they areworthless and not try to stand up for themselves. For most of her life, Celiebelieves what her stepfather thinks about her.
When she is married off to Albert,she is given the same treatment as Alphonso gives her. Celie’s marriage toAlbert is the finish of one episode of harsh savagery from her stepfather, buthowever the start of another with of her new spouse, a widower who mishandlesCelie verbally, sexually and physically in any capacity he wishes. Sheexperiences forced sexual intercourse, which makes her think about her body assomething over which she has no control. “Most times I pretend I ain’t there.He never know the difference. Never ast me how I feel nothing. Just do his business,get off, go to sleep. Shug say, why Miss Celie, you make it sound like he is goingto the toilet on you.
That what I feel like I say (Walker, 79). being forcedinto sexual acts against her will, Celie is also experiencing a loss offreedom. Once again not being able to stand up for herself while she is pushedaround by her husband.
Many relationships in this time period was unhealthy dueto the male dominance, women often fell submissive and allowed it to happen becausethey have no other choice. Celie is disrespected multiple times but is scaredto do anything about it. The relationships between males and females are important in TheColor Purple andinsome other works by Alice Walker Conflicts occur over the traditional malequalities of power, dominance, and control and the female traits of submission,obedience, and servitude. (Abrams, 29)Black women of thistime period were treated with disrespect. similarly, to Celie, Eliza and Sofiaboth experience racism when they both become nannies for two white families. Elizawas the slave of Elisha Berry a rich man who impregnates her and chooses to lether stay with him and raise their child together. Though when he becomesdeceased, she is sent off to a slave plantation where her children becomeseparated. Sofia on the other hand stays with a family close to her town andexperiences a lot of mistreatment.
Unfortunately, in the end they are bothneglected and end up in the back. They suffer from constant abuse and mistreatment”Wives is like Children,” he says, “You have to let ’em know whogot the upper hand. Nothing can do that better than a sound beating” (Walker,42). Abuse is just as much of a learnt behavior as racism. Domestic abuse was aprominent issue and continues to be today. The encouragement from fathers tosons that abusing their wife is a tolerable action is not ok, and sadly thiswas the case in many relationships during this time.