TITLE OF RESEARCH The title of this research is Black Womans Oppression as Portrayed in the Main Character of Alice Walkers The Color Purple.
FIELD OF RESEARCH The field study of this research is literature, a media used by the author in conveying ideas to the reader reflecting the views of the author to the problems of real life (Sugihastuti et. al, 2007:81). To this end, the author often takes life realities as the sources such as social structure, functions and roles of each society members, and the interaction among the people including that of between men and women (Rampan, 1984:16). Interaction between them is an interesting theme to be assessed because of the relationship between the two sexes, which form the fabric of community life, both socially and culturally (Sugihastuti et. al, 2007:82).
BACKROUND OF THE STUDY Essentially, all beings are created in pairs. In human life, there are men and women who are created equally in terms of degree and dignity, yet with different shapes and functions. Along with human civilization, many roles and status change for both, in accordance with the changing of times (Sasongko, 2007: 7). In a domestic space, women are identified with their social function as a domestic worker such as child rearing and activities like cleaning the house, washing, cooking rice, and so on. Meanwhile, men are more dominant in domestic space because of his duties as the bread winner (Sugihastuti et. al, 2007:84).1
Alice Walkers The Color Purple published in 1982 and won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award is selected as the object of this research. It is Walkers third novel and had ever been produced into movie in 1985 by Stephen Spielberg that was nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories, winning for best musical score. Then, a musical adaptation of The Color Purple opened on Broadway in 2005 (Bloom, 2007: 207-208). The Color Purple is an epistolary novel, a work structured through a series of letters written by Celie to God and Nettie, her sister. The epistolary was originated from eighteenth-century western writing, specifically in the novels of the British author Samuel Richardson but it has meaning in which Walker capitalizes on this form that makes her novel so innovative. The style of language employed in The Color Purple is heavily influenced by the novel's formal structure. Walker was admired for her powerful portraits of black women. Reviewers praised her for her use of the epistolary form, in which written correspondence between characters comprises the content of the book, and her ability to use black folk English. Reflecting her early political interests as a civil rights worker during the 1960s, many of her social views are expressed in the novel. In The Color Purple, as in her other writings, focusing on the theme of double repression of black women in the American experience, Walker conveys that black women suffer from discrimination by the white community and from a second repression from black males, who impose the double standard of white society on women. Therefore, it is interesting to analyze the causes and effects of oppression on woman, especially a Black woman and how Celie struggle to free herself from her
stepfathers and her husbands oppressing attitude. Since it deals with Black womans oppression and her struggle against oppressors, Black feminist approach is the appropriate theory to analyze this novel.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS There are two important questions as the base of analysis in this research: a. What are the causes and effects of oppression on a black woman? b. How does Celie struggle to free herself from oppression?
PURPOSE OF RESEARCH The purposes of this research are: a. To find out and analyze the causes and effects of oppression on a black woman. b. To describe how Celie struggle to free herself from the oppression.
THEORITICAL FRAMEWORK Theoretical framework contains the theories which are used to analyze the object consisting character, objective approach, black feminist approach, sociological approach and psychoanalysis. Objective approach will be applied to find out causes and effects of oppression through the character as one of intrinsic elements of the novel, while Psychoanalysis will be applied to analyze the character because the object
of this approach is a Black woman. Black feminism will be employed to find out the struggle of Celie to free herself from the oppression. Then, sociological approach is selected to find the real condition of Black women in Afrcan-American society. A. Character Character is a part of novel defined as the persons presented in a dramatic or narrative works that are interpreted by the reader as being that have moral and disposition qualities expressed in what they say the dialogue and they do the actions (Abrams, 1981: 20). Characters defined as fictional whose existence originated from fictional work or performances are classified into four; round characters, flat characters, dynamic characters and static character. Round characters who have multiple personality or characteristic; Flat characters who have only one characteristic; Dynamic characters who change significantly during the story such as change in insight or understanding, commitment, value and change in circumstance; Static characters are the opponent of dynamic characters, do not have significant changing during the story (Kelley,1986: 46-47).
B. Objective approach Objective approach, an approach based on the literary work itself, focuses on the intrinsic elements of a literary work and also their relations including plot, setting, character, point of view, and etc. This is why the objective approach is well known as intrinsic analysis (Ratna, 2004: 73-74). In this research, the character is chosen as the target to be analyzed to figure out the causes and effects of oppression.
C. Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis is a literary theory from Sigmund Freud usually used to analyze the character in the literary works. So, this theory will be applied to analyze the novel because this research is focused on psychology of the main character of the novel The Color Purple. Psychoanalysis is a theory of mind. As he developed the theory of the ego, especially in such controversial later works as Beyond the Pleasure Principle and The Ego and the Id, Freud formulated a structural theory of the mind, one in which the id, the ego and the super-ego, and signified certain kinds of relationships between conscious and unconscious elements of the ego. Id is completely unconscious part of the psyche that serves as a storehouse of our desires, wishes, and fears. The id houses the libido, the source of psychosexual energy. Ego is conscious part of the psyche that processes experiences and operates as a referee or mediator between the id and superego. Superego often thought of as one's "conscience"; the superego operates "like an internal censor [encouraging] moral judgments in light of social pressures". According to this structural model, significant portions of the ego are unknown; in a sense, then, the subject is internally split and displaced. Fundamentally linked to the structural theory of the ego is the theory of instincts or drives. In the earlier topographical model, there were two primary instincts: sexual, linked to fantasy, wish fulfillment, and the pleasure principle; and ego, linked to consciousness and the reality principle (Castle, 2007:167) Psychoanalysis is not only a theory of the human mind, but a practice for Freudian theory known as 'transference', a concept sometimes popularly confused with what Freud calls 'projection', or the ascribing to others of feelings and wishes
which are actually our own. In the course of treatment, the patient may begin unconsciously to 'transfer' on to the figure of the analyst the psychical conflicts from which he or she suffers. If he has difficulties with his father, for example, he will unconsciously cast the analyst in that role. This poses a problem for the analyst, since such 'repetition' or ritual remade of the original conflict is one of the patient's unconscious ways of avoiding the coming terms with it. We repeat, sometimes compulsively, what we cannot properly remember, and we cannot remember it because it is unpleasant. But transference also provides the analyst with a particular insight into the patient's psychical life, in a controlled situation in which he or she can intervene. The work of psychoanalysis can perhaps best be summarized in one of Freud's own slogans: 'Where id was, there shall ego be.' Where men and women were in the category gaining control of power which they could not understand, there reason and self-mastery shall reign (Eagleton, 2008:138-139).
D. Sociological approach Another approach used is sociological approach to figure out the real condition of black women in the African-American society. Sociological approach is an approach analyzing human in the society, with the understanding process started from society to individual. The basic philosophy of sociological approach is there any real relation between literary work and society. The relation itself caused by: a) Literary work is created by the author, b) Author is a part of society, c) Author creates literary work by describing all everything occurred in the society, d) Literary work itself is returned to the societies as its devotee (Ratna, 2004: 59-61).
Sociological approach will be used for understanding gender, feminism, social role and status. This approach has an implication methodology as basic understanding about human life in the society (Ratna, 2004: 61).
E. Black Feminism This research will be analyzed by using Black Feminism since it deals with the struggle of Black woman represented by the main woman character, Celie, to free herself from the oppressions in the novel of The Color Purple. Oesterreich and Collin in Rosser (2010:4) state the history of feminism in the United States is marked by two distinct periods or waves that are directly connected to and outgrowths of. Two key movements in African American history are the abolitionist movement and the modern civil rights movement. During both of these monumental historical periods and the third wave that followed them, countless numbers of Black women activist developed a feminist consciousness that gave them a delegation to attempt for authority on their own terms. Collectively, their feminism was more expansive than the agenda put forth by White women, in that specific social economics, and political issues facing African American communities were combined into a theoretical paradigm that today we call Black feminism. Black feminism is sometimes referred to as womanism because both are concerned with struggles against sexism and racism by Black women who are themselves part of the Black communitys efforts to achieve equity and liberty (Omolade, 1994: xx). The ultimate goal of Black feminism is to create a political movement against the interlocking systems of racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, but that also seeks to develop institutions to
protect what the dominance culture has little respect and value for Black womens minds and bodies (Taylor, 2001:8). Rosemary Tong in her book Feminist Thought mentions several feminist points of views about the mechanisms for the oppression of women such as the roots of womens oppression that are buried deep in patriarchys sex/ gender system, stereotype of men and women. Mens oppression of women leads logically to other systems of human domination (Tong, 2007: 52). These will help to describe womens struggle about their society and the structure that binds them, not only in terms of unequal treatment that they get but also social construction or stereotype of women, they can combat and they cope with a very depressing and unhappy life.
LITERATURE REVIEW Literature review consists of theory to get the research purposes consisting of causes and effects of oppression among black women and also womans defense mechanism on oppression. In this case, women in Black Society, Black womans oppression and defense mechanism on oppression will be used as the base to find out the causes and effects of oppression on a Black woman and also the struggle to free herself from the oppression as reflected in Alice Walkers The Color Purple. a. Woman in Black Society The importance of understanding the historical and social context of womens position in African-American society helps us in understanding the position of African-American women along with the growth of cultural and social condition since it is basically needed for correlating Celie as the main character
who is a reflection of Black woman in American society at large. AfricanAmerican is known also as black. In the society, Black women are the only ethnic or radical group which has had the opportunity to be women. Olmedo & Parron (1981) in Robinson states the double bind of living in a racist and sexist society has placed Black women in an extremely difficult position. They are the poorest paid workers (1983:136). Black women, due to economic necessity, have always worked to support themselves and their families. They have been forced by society, oppression, their position, and their tradition to be responsible for the economic, social, and physical survival of their families and communities. For centuries, Black women have been dealing creatively with the concerns on role adaptabillity, division of household chores, working wives/mothers, sexual harassment/abuse, and coping with stressful situations (Robinson, 1983:136). A brief glance at women all over the world today shows that Black women are oppressed, in terms of educational attainments, participation rates, occupational structure, private and public laws, family planning systems, technological advance and above all socio cultural attitudes weighted against them. Across distance and boundaries in history and society, women have been placed on pedestals as goddesses, but imprisoned within domestic injustice (custom has been nothing but a tyrant hidden in every home). They have been owned, used and worked as horses, even today (James et. al., 1993:107).
b. Black Womans Oppression Talking about Black woman oppression, Stanley tells that African/ Black woman has complex problem including oppression from outside (colonialism and neo-colonialism), oppression from traditional structures, oppression from her backwardness, oppression from man, from her color and her race, and oppression from herself (James et. al., 1993: 107-114) First problem is oppression from outside as foreign intrusions. It can be dated from the historical arrival of Vasco da Gama in the 1400s, beginning with the mercantile trade with Europe which soon broadened into the trade in slaves only, followed by the integration of Africa into the full capitalist system. Then, followed the period of political or structural integration within capitalisms was colonialization. Capitalist system of production itself draws women out of the home into low-wage slavery encouraging the subordination of women, financial disabilities and low female self-esteem (James et. al., 1993:107-108). The second is built of structures and attitudes inherited from indigenous history and sociological realities. African women are weighed down by super structural forms deriving from pre-colonial past that positioning woman into subordinated to men, considered as se second in place to men. Here is only the difference being that inheritance and authority passed through the women to the male of the line. Men are still dominant and public life. The ideology that men are naturally superior to women in essence and in all areas, effects the modern day organization of societal structures such as put men as breadwinners who look for money and lead the family but women work as domestic workers (domestic
services) only like washing, cooking, and looking after the children (James et. al., 1993:112). The backwardness of the African woman is the third problem. Her backwardness is a product of colonization and neo-colonialism, comprising poverty, ignorance and the lack of a scientific attitude to experience and nature (James et. al., 1993:113). The fourth is race (James et. al., 1993:113). Despite the claim by Shirley Chisholm, that she has experienced more discrimination as a woman than as a black (1970:43), this is not the common perception of black woman. As one black recorded in her journal, As a woman, I am suppressed. But as a black woman, I am oppressed (Richardson, 1988: 241). The black womans experience is qualitatively different from the white womans experience. The impact of blackness is omnipresent, and totally structures the life chances of black women. Being black is less valued in the society than being white. If blacks numerically dominate or control an organization (institution, business, school), the cultural assumption is that the organization is less prestigious, less well run, and less desirable than its white counterpart (Richardson, 1988: 240). The next problem is man (James et. al., 1993:113). The problem for black women is not to gain more power but to come to terms with the black male, to restructure new role relationships with him (Richardson, 1988: 241). Women live in a patriarchal system which put men in a dominant position and power. In order that, man has superior and woman has inferior status so they can do whatever they want to the women. Besides, there are stereotype among men and women. For
example men have the nature being strong, intelligent, aggressive, and effective. Meanwhile, women are stereotyped as submissive, stupid, and ineffective. Therefore, women feel so oppressed and depressed because of that condition (James et. al., 1993:113-114). The last problem is herself. Women are shackled by their own negative self-image, by centuries of the interiorization of the ideologies of patriarchy and gender hierarchy. Their own reactions to objective problems cause self-defeating and self-crippling. Woman reacts with fear, dependency complexes and attitudes to please and cajole where more self-assertive actions are needed (James et. al., 1993:114). As the conclusion, black womans oppression comes from outside (colonialism and neo-colonialism), traditional structures, her backwardness, oppression from man, from her color and her race, and oppression from herself. The effects of those oppression are depression, self-defeating and self-crippling on the black women.
c. Defense Mechanism on Oppression The analysis of this research is focused on black womans oppression. As the victims of oppression, black women have some defense mechanism, which according to Freud as psychological strategy to cope reality and to maintain selfimage with the purpose to protect individual from the anxiety (a premonition that something bad will happen) and from unwanted situation (Haber & Runyon, 1984:187). There are five defense mechanisms including repression, reaction12
formation, projection, regression and displacement. First defense mechanism is repression, a defense mechanism in which anxious thoughts or desires are automatically removed from consciousness because individuals want to ignore or try to forget uncomfortable thoughts which made oppressed. The next is reaction formation, a defense mechanism in which individuals overact in the opposite way to the fear that someone wants to feel. It occurs when someone feel an urge to do or say something and actually do or say something that is completely the opposite of what they really want. The other defense mechanism is projection which involves individual attribute uncomfortable feelings to others. It happens when individuals characterize unintended impulse toward other people. The next is regression, an action as a child when someone response a stressful situation with greater levels of stress potentially lead to more overt regressive acts like crying, hit some things, etc. The last defense mechanism is displacement, an act in redirecting emotions to an alternative object (Feist and Feist, 2006:33-34). By doing defense mechanism, someone who feels oppressed will try to do self adaptation. d. Author And Her Works Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944, the youngest daughter from Willie Lee and Minnie Tallulah Grant Walker, sharecroppers in Eatonton, Georgia. In 1952, Walker lost the sight in one eye, the result of a bb-gun accident. Then, she received her B. A. at Sarah Lawrence College in 1965. She became one of six black students in her class. In 1967, Walker married with Melvyn
Leventhal, a civil-rights attorney, on 17 March and God gave them a daughter, Rebecca, but they divorced nine years later. Walkers first book, Once: Poems was published in 1968. Walker taught black studies and literature at Jackson State College, Tugaloo College, Wellesley, and University of Massachusetts until 1973. She is active in the Civil Rights Movement and in the feminist movement. In 1970, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Walkers first novel, was published. Then the second novel, Meridian, was published in 1976. Walker edited I Love Myself When I Am Laughing: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader, initiating a Hurston revival in 1979. Walkers third novel, The Color Purple, is published 1982. It won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award. Later, in 1983 Walkers collection of feminist essays, In Search of Our Mothers Gardens, was published. Next, in 1984 Walker with writer Robert Allen found Wild Trees Press, which publishes books of special insight, particular from a feminist perspective. In 1985, Stephen Spielberg produced the movie adaptation of The Color Purple. It was nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories and it also won for best musical score. Continuous to Walkers career, her novel The Temple of My Familiar (1989) is on the New York Times Bestseller List for over four months. Next, she co-produces Warrior Marksn (1993), a documentary movie about female circumcision. Furthermore, Walker published Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart (2004), her ninth novel. In 2005, a musical adaptation of The Color Purple opened on Broadway (Bloom, 2007: 207-208).
e. The Synopsis of The Color Purple The story begins from Celie, she is fourteen year old girl, a black girl whom the life is full of suffer and oppression from her Pa, Alphonso and later she begins to write her letter. She is raped more than one times causing she pregnant twice, but she may not tell her mother about his act. Her children named Olivia and Adam, but her father steals and sells them to the missionary named Samuel. A few days later, Celies mother dies by suspecting that the children were her husbands. After the death of her mothe, Alphonso introduces Celie to Albert, a widower with three children usually known as Mr.___ who is interested in getting married with Nettie but Alphonso tells him that she is too young and she has no experience of taking care the children, sex, and cook. He recommends Celie to be his wife and offers some cows to be with if he married her. Nettie is sent to school, trying to study to be a teacher. Basically, Celie also want to go to school for studying but her pa does not allow her. Therfore, Nettie teaches her what she learned at school. Since Celie is fored to married Mr.___, she cannot teach her anymore because she lives with her husband in his small farm and takes care for his three children. Her life becomes so hard and full of suffer because her husband beats her regularly. Nettie feels so worry about Celie, so she runs away from home to meet Celie in the farm but Mr.___ does not allow her to life for a long time. Therefore, she leaves them and promises to write letters for Celie. Unfortunately, Mr.___ silently promises that he never let her letters through to Celie.
One day, a blues singer named Shug Avery comes to town causing Albert stops working. To this end, Celie and his son, Harpo do all the farm chores. Shug lives in Alberts house because she is ill and becomes friend with Celie. Celie shares to her about how she is physically abused by Albert and Shug give a positive respond about her story by giving her suggestions to be a good and dependence woman but she goes after she gets well condition. Harpo tell to Celie that he wants to marry a woman named Sofia and treats his wife like what his father done to Celie. After he married Sofia, he attempted to ask her to obey what he asked for but she rejected it, so he bit her but she fought back. Celie saw and amazed because she cannot do as what Sofia can do. Several years later, Shug Avery marries a man named Grady and comes back for a visit, she tells Celie that she had ever seen Mr.___ hid mysterious letter from the mailbox and the letters is suspected from Nettie. Then, they search the letters and finally find them. Celie is shocked because they are all right from Nettie that previously she thought she was dead since she never received letters from her. Celie becomes so angry at Albert and determines to continue receiving Netties letters at any cost. In one letter, Nettie explains how she went to the ministers house to find work, just as Celie had suggested. During her first visit, she realized that the ministers adopted children, Olivia and Adam. Nettie wanted to be close to the children. Samuel tells Nettie the history of Olivia and Adam, explaining that Fonso had brought the children to him and offered to sell them. Pitying the two young children, he took them in and raised them as his own. Samuel tells Nettie that Fonso is her stepfather, not her real father.
After Celie know all about the reality, Shug invites Celie to move to Tenesse leaving Mr.___ that makes him so angry and tries to hit Celie, but she stabs his hand. She leaves the farm forever and lives with Shug by starting a successful business in making pants. Her successful makes Albert changing. He becomes friendly and helps Celies business. There is no oppression anymore to Celie. Soon, news about Alphonso is coming. It is about his died and he has been stealing what rightfully belongs to Nettie and Celie including the house and the land. Shug and Celie go to see the house and prepare for Netties return. Finally, she writes her last letter about celebration and the homecoming of Nettie, Olivia, and Adam. It is wonderful to see her beloved sister again and her own children for the first time. They have a big family reunion on the fourth of July. She ends her letter as if it were a prayer and close it by saying Amen.
VIII. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY A. Method of research The researcher applies descriptive qualitative method to analyze the object of the research. In making the analysis becomes descriptive form, interpretation and description are employed. The main data is from The Color Purple by Alice Walker. According to Bogdan and Taylor in Moleong, qualitative method is a research procedure that results descriptive data both written and spoken from someone or the attitude which can be examined (2006:4). There are several characteristics of qualitative research including human instrument and descriptive
data as stated by Ary et. al. (2002:424-425): in qualitative studies, the human investigator is the primary instrument for gathering and analyzing the data. The qualitative inquirer deals with data that are in the form of words, rather than numbers and statistics.
B. Data Source In conducting this research, the researcher takes the data from many sources which are classified into: 1. The Primary Data In literature, the main source of the data is a literary work or an original text. The primary data of this research is a novel entitled The Color Purple written by Alice Walker and published in 1982 by Washington Square Press, USA. The main source includes the narration, characters and the conversation. 2. The Secondary Data The secondary data sources are the sources that support the research. They are other relevant information taken from the books, articles, essays, website pages or the other devices.
C. Method of Collecting Data Since the object of the research is a novel, the data collecting will be done by the library research method. It means that the research is held in a
working room or the library to get the data and information about the research from the books, articles taken from the internet or the other audio-visual devices. There are four steps in process of collecting the data. They are: 1. Reading the novel of The Color Purple by Alice Walker repeatedly. Reading the novel is a must. It will help the researcher to know the story, the theme, setting, characters and plot in the novel of The Color Purple. 2. Identifying the limitation for the research. Limitation is used to limit the data that are needed. Data are limited in a novel entitled The Color Purple and focus on causes and effects of a Black woman oppression and struggle of Celie to free herself from oppression. 3. Determining the theory and supporting theory related to the data. Theory is very important to make this research valid. Sociological approach will be used to know real condition of woman in Black society and to figure out the causes and effects of black womans oppression. Then, psychoanalysis will be employed to analyze the character based on the psychology during the oppression. Meanwhile, Black feminist theory will be applied to find out the struggle of Celie to free herself from the oppression. 4. Quoting some important points that are relevant to the problem of research. The quotation of the data consists of the significant evidences taken from the novel including the words, sentences, characters and story of the novel.
D. Method of Data Analysis Data analysis as the next step that requires the researcher to be comfortable with developing categories and making comparisons and contrast covers several ways. Data analysis in a qualitative research includes organizing, summarizing, and interpreting the data. In organizing the data, the researcher reduces and categorizes the data. In summarizing the data, we examine all entries with the same code, and merge these categories into patterns by finding links and connection among the categories. In interpretation, the researcher extracts meaning and insights from the data (Ary et al., 2002:465-471). Based on the explanation above, the data analysis of this research are involved the following steps: 1. Organizing In the organizing process, the data will be organized into two basic ata data will be categorized based on the topic conducted in this research. In the beginning, the data will be organized into two basic categories which woman in Black society reflected in Walkers The Color Purple and Celies struggle to free herself from the oppression. First categories will be divided into two sub categories; the causes of oppression on Celie as reflection of a black woman, the effects of oppression on Celies psyche condition. The second categories will be divided into three sub categories; the influences from other black women, Celies finding of identity, and Celies struggle to get freedom.
2. Summarizing The second step to analyze the data is summarizing. In this case, all organized data will be selected and resumed by focusing on the main points related to the appropriate category of the research. 3. Interpreting The last step is interpreting. Here, extract meaning is needful. The data are taken from the main characters utterances, monologues, description, behavior and expression. Then, put them close together based on the theoretical frameworks of the study. Here the data will be conducted with the provided theories. Black woman oppression and Black feminist theory used to analyze causes and effects of black woman oppression specially Celie and the struggle to face the oppression. Besides, Freuds Psychoanalysis is used to analyze Celies psyche side during the oppression. Furthermore, Sociological approach is used also to support the analysis. The conclusion of the analysis is gained from identifying the outcome. This step will be presented the result in a descriptive form. Furthermore, the outcome will be compared with theories and literature to gain some conclusions of the analysis after analyzing the data. The first conclusion will explain about causes and effects of black woman oppression, while the second conclusion will explain about the struggle to face the oppression.
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