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Raiven Harris Alicia McKenzie Advanced American Literature 22 April 2014 Alice Walker Alice Walker is the award winning writer of The Color Purple. Not only is she an author, but she is a political and social activist, and a powerful feminist. Her books, poetry, and short stories reflect the experiences and struggles of her life; her works are written for the empowerment and strengthening of women, and they are meant to touch, not only women in todays society, but they will also live on through posterity. Alice Malsenior Walker was born February 9, 1944 to sharecroppers, Willie Lee Walker and Minnie Lou Tallulah Grant. She is the youngest of eight children. Walker graduated as valedictorian of her high school class and senior prom queen. She then moved on to study at Spellman College, where she encountered Martin Luther King Jr, and began her political and social activism. She attended the March on Washington in 1963. After attending Spelman College for three years, she transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she wrote her first short story, To Hell with Dying. Two years later she married Melvyn Leventhal in Mississippi. They became the first inter-racial couple in the state. Two years later Walker gave birth to Rebecca Walker, who later became a writer. After about ten years of marriage, Walker divorced Leventhal. Just before her divorce, Walker began

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to become a very feminist writer. In 1981, she published a set of short stories titled: You Cant Keep a Good Woman Down. Soon thereafter, in 1982, The Color Purple was published. The Color Purple is a novel about a young girl, Cellie, and her struggles in life. At the beginning of the story, Cellie, age 14, is pregnant with her fathers baby. Her child gets taken away from her, which hurts her deeply. A few years later, she is sent off to marry Mr.--, who beats her, when she does not do what she is told. Cellie was devastated, when she was forced to marry, leaving her sister behind. Cellie and her sister, Nettie, have a really close relationship, and Cellie spends many years waiting to receive a letter from her. Cellie is described as a very quiet and observant person, who has been used and mistreated by men her entire life. Cellie gets tired of being mistreated, and being told that she is ugly by the men she encounters, so she enjoys the presence of women. Like Cellie, Alice Walker discovers that she would rather be around women than men. She is a strong and passionate feminist. The Color Purple expressed Walkers view of African American men, and explains why she made the indicative life choice of changing her sexual orientation. Walker has caused an extreme amount of controversy over her depiction of African American men. Her feminism even resulted in the destruction of her relationship with her daughter. Even though her extreme feminism has caused some issues, it still continues to inspire women around the world though her many literary works.

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Works Cited Adams, Timothy Dow, Mary A. Blackmon, and Holly L. Norton. "Alice Walker." Critical Survey Of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-10. Literary Reference Center. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. Brantley, Mary, and Dorothy Dodge Robbins. "The Poetry Of Walker." Masterplots II: African American Literature, Revised Edition (2008): 1-5. Literary Reference Center. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. Slomski, Genevieve. "The Color Purple." Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-3. Literary Reference Center. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. Phy-Olsen, Allene. "Alice Walker." Critical Survey Of Poetry, Second Revised Edition (2002): 1-4. Literary Reference Center. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.