Gender Roles “The Color Purple” Gender roles play a very important role throughout “the Color Purple.” Each character in this book are very different from each other. They guide one another through life and help each other figure out who they really are. Sophia and Shug both influence Celie, who is skinny, weak, and dependent of others, and we see her role change throughout the novel. Celie who is weak and submissive strives to be like Shug. Shug's independence and self reliance has a major impact on Celie. Shug teaches Celie to be her own self, and start by introducing Celie to her sexuality although it is with a woman. “ I don’t know nothin bout it, I say to Shug. I don’t know much she say.” (Walker 118)
Shug and Celie’s relationship progressed, and she learned to stand up for herself as a woman. Over dinner, we watched Celie become an independent woman who stands up against Mr._________ who abuses her and forces her to be his slave. “ You a lowdown dog is what you is. What’s wrong, I say. It’s time to leave you and enter into the Creation. And your dead body is just the welcome mat I need.” (207) This is an example that clearly shows Celie has respect for herself, and symbolizes her growth as a human being. Sophia is a strong woman who is willing to sacrifice her life just to be treated equal. She fights hard for it, but is discriminated by Harpo and Mr.___________. She is forced to believe that men are superior, that women exist only to serve men, and have and take care of their children. Not only is Sophia taken advantage of, but Mr.___________ admits that he beats her only because she is a woman. (23) Sophia decides to leave Harpo in seek of a better life which is a big example of her battle for superiority of the female gender in the world.