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Study Guide for Alice Walker's The Color Purple including section summary, character analysis, and more. Learn all about The Color Purple, ask questions, and get the answers you need.


Book Basics

Author: Alice Walker

Year Published: 1982

Type: Novel

Genre: Drama

Perspective and Narrator:

Celie, the protagonist of The Color Purple, is the first-person narrator who relates information about the characters and setting from her point of view in the form of letters written to God and her sister. Celie's sister Nettie is a secondary narrator whose letters offer a perspective limited to the family she lives with, the people she meets in her travels, and her African experiences.


The Color Purple is written in the present tense.

About the Title:

The Color Purple's title stems from a comment made by the character Shug, who believes God wants the magnificence of his creations admired. He becomes upset when people "walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

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