Title: Reversal of Stereotypes in Alice Walker's The Color Purple: God, Gender, Narrative and Sexuality
Author(s): Morshedul Arifin, Lecturer, Department of English, East Delta University, Bangladesh and Shah Ahmed, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of English, East Delta University, Bangladesh 

Publication Information
Journal Title: Palimpsest - East Delta University Journal of English Studies
Volume No: 02, Issue No: 01, Year: 2020, Pages: 10-21
Publisher: Department of English, East Delta University, Chattogram, Bangladesh
Type of Publication: Research Article
Received: 19 November 2020, Accepted: 03 February 2021, Published: 07 December 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.46603/pedujes.v2i1.2
Unlike most African-American authors, who constantly mirror the repressive effects of racism, classicism and gender discrimination, Alice Walker (1944–) in her The Color Purple (1982) compulsively deals with sexism that was still pervasive within African American communities during the early twentieth century. She argues that just as black groups are relegated to an underclass due to the colour of their skin in a wider milieu of white society, in the same way the black women are reduced to a more inferior class due to their sex in their own community. For women’s self-emancipation from such an inhibitory patriarchy, the novel gives an overarching emphasis on the formation of language, execution of voice, review of sexual preference and redefinition of identity of her female characters, the protagonist Celie in particular. This paper examines how, by a fusion of the bildungsroman and epistolary conventions, the novelist melds a unique way for her women creating a God for their own and carving out a niche in social and economic concerns. It assesses the strategic reversal of gender stereotype as well as sexual orientation in order to establish the independence and equality of women on a par with men. The paper ends up with the claim that the novel is predicated upon the theoretical prism of womanism, previously premised by Walker herself, which puts extensive emphasis on a deeper, empathetic relationship and camaraderie of women.
Alice Walker, womanism, patriarchy, gender role, epistolary narrative, reversal, stereotype, God  
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