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In the hands of the oppressor, freedom is something
earned not given. Alphonso abuses Celie for a very long time and this destroys
her. When one is abused this excessively, they will believe that they are
worthless and not try to stand up for themselves. For most of her life, Celie
believes 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 to
Albert is the finish of one episode of harsh savagery from her stepfather, but
however the start of another with of her new spouse, a widower who mishandles
Celie verbally, sexually and physically in any capacity he wishes. She
experiences forced sexual intercourse, which makes her think about her body as
something 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 going
to the toilet on you. That what I feel like I say (Walker, 79). being forced
into sexual acts against her will, Celie is also experiencing a loss of
freedom. Once again not being able to stand up for herself while she is pushed
around by her husband. Many relationships in this time period was unhealthy due
to the male dominance, women often fell submissive and allowed it to happen because
they have no other choice. Celie is disrespected multiple times but is scared
to do anything about it.

The relationships between males and females are important in The
Color Purple and

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some other works by Alice Walker Conflicts occur over the traditional male
qualities of power, dominance, and control and the female traits of submission,
obedience, and servitude. (Abrams, 29)

Black women of this
time period were treated with disrespect. similarly, to Celie, Eliza and Sofia
both experience racism when they both become nannies for two white families. Eliza
was the slave of Elisha Berry a rich man who impregnates her and chooses to let
her stay with him and raise their child together. Though when he becomes
deceased, she is sent off to a slave plantation where her children become
separated. Sofia on the other hand stays with a family close to her town and
experiences a lot of mistreatment. Unfortunately, in the end they are both
neglected 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 who
got 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 a
prominent issue and continues to be today. The encouragement from fathers to
sons that abusing their wife is a tolerable action is not ok, and sadly this
was the case in many relationships during this time. 

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