There is yet another difficulty in reading this novel. We begin with Celie's letters and we encounter a language problem. Celie's letters are not written in standard English. Celie writes her letters in non-standard dialect, what Walker has called black folk language. Thus, at first, Celie's language might seem awkward to some of us, but most readers respond to this novel more immediately if they read the letters aloud, especially Celie's letters, listening to Celie's voice. Celie is uneducated, and she is writing exactly as she speaks and thinks. There is nothing artificial about her writing "style." In fact, the most distinctive characteristic about Celie's letters is their naturalness. There is a continuous emphasis on the oral sound and sense of what Celie writes, rather than on the "written" style of the letters. There is also a keen and enduring quality of honesty throughout Celie's letters. She is writing to God,
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