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Good Essay Topics For The Color Purple

Letters 1–9
1. How come we do not know Mr.____’s last name? How does this symbolize the behavior of men in this society?

2. Look at the symbols of education in this section (the books, Miss Beasley...). How are they connected with the sisters’ desire for a better life?

Letters 10–12
1. Examine the mannerisms of the reverend’s wife and compare her to Celie. What do you think makes her more confident than Celie? What does she have that Celie does not?

2. What insight do we get from Mr.____’s character after seeing him attempt to flirt with Nettie?

Letters 13-18
1. What insight does Harpo receive about Mr.____’s character? Look at what Mr.____ says to him in this chapter.

2. Why does “a shadow” go across Sofia’s face in her argument with Mr.____? What is Harpo’s role in this argument?

Letters 19–21
1. Why wouldn’t Harpo want Sofia to visit her sisters? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. How would Mr.____ react to Harpo’s excuses? Construct a dialogue in which Harpo tries to explain to his father why his face is bruised.

Letters 22–27
1. What symbols of security are present in this section of the novel? How does Celie use such symbols (the bath, food) to comfort Shug?

2. Compare the relationship Mr.____ has with his father to the one that he has with his son. Is there any real difference in these relationships or is it a cycle of abuse from father to son?

Letters 28–31
1. What are some of the chores that Harpo does? What insight does the reader receive into Harpo’s character with respect to these chores?

2. What role does food play in this section? What is it a symbol for? Use examples from the text to support your conclusion.

Letters 32–36
1. What is the significance of Harpo’s weight? Compare this to the time he tries to gain weight in order to fight Sofia.

2. How does Shug’s knowledge that Mr.____ had beat Celie change their relationship? Can you predict the changes that will take place in the future?

Letters 37–41
1. How does Walker use Sofia’s beating to illustrate the danger of being a woman in a...

(The entire section is 955 words.)

Essay Topic 1

Describe the theme of fatherhood in the novel. Which character do you think is the best father in the novel? Why? Which character do you think is the worst? In what ways can you see parenting styles, specifically fatherhood, affecting characters as they mature into adulthood? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Describe Celie’s relationship with Shug. How does it grow and change over the course of the novel? Would you consider them more like sisters or lovers? Why? What is the difference between these two types of relationships? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

What is the main difference between life in Olinka and life in America? How do the Olinka people react to the new missionaries when they arrive? How does this dynamic inform the race relations...

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