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Pantheism in 'The Color Purple'

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Explain the term pantheism and how it relates to the
novel.…read more

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What is Pantheism?
Pantheism: the belief that God is everywhere and in everything
opposed to God being a being that rules over everything. It sort
of humanises God.
Shug Avery introduces pantheism in the novel. 'God is inside you
and inside everybody else'.
As Celie has great affection for her, and indeed says that she is in
love with her, she naturally takes on board what Shug says.
Making Pantheism a key idea/ theme in the novel…read more

Slide 4

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Religion in the Color Purple
Nettie's religious growth in the novel
provides duality between her and
Celie who also grows in the way she
interprets religion, i.e. pantheism
which she sees as a form of escapism
from the patriarchal society that has
wronged her.
Christianity is viewed in a positive
light with Celie's letters initially
being written to god.
When Celie is introduced to the
independent Shug Avery she writes
less to God and more to Nettie
showing her transition between
states of belief.…read more

Slide 5

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Shug Avery's Pantheism
Shug Avery is the character that
introduces the theme of pantheism
into the novel.
She has shirked conventional
conservative Christianity that
emphasises patriarchy.
Shug practises a freer form of religion
by seeing god in all things.
She makes the point that God is not
the "big and old and tall and gray
bearded and white" man that
Christianity dictates ­ she offers an
alternative approach.
Her lack of conformity to traditional
Christianity that stress patriarchy also
helps reinforce the theme of feminism…read more

Slide 6

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Shug Avery's Pantheism
Celie is grateful for this because
of her love for Shug adapts the
idea without question.
Shug's God who is one who
"love all them feelings," ­ i.e.
sexual pleasure not a
conservative stiff upper lip
"love everything you love," she
reassures celie that her feelings
are not unnatural which really
helps build her confidence.
"love admiration. . . . just
wanting to share a good thing."
­ shugs description of God in
Pantheism terms…read more

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