[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_color_purple_poster.jpg]]

->''"I think it pisses God off when you walk by [[TitleDrop the color purple]] in a field and don't notice it."''
-->-- '''Shug Avery'''

A 1982 novel by Alice Walker, ''The Color Purple'' was later made into a 1985 film and [[AllMusicalsAreAdaptations a 2005 musical]]. In particular, the film version was director Creator/StevenSpielberg's first pure-drama film (and one of the very few Spielberg films ''not'' scored by Creator/JohnWilliams) and the film debuts of Creator/WhoopiGoldberg and OprahWinfrey.

When we first see the protagonist, Celie, she's fourteen and twice pregnant by her father. Her "Pa" then forces her into a marriage with "Mister," a widower far more interested in her younger sister, Nettie. Fortunately, Celie finds friends with Mister's old flame, Shug Avery, and Sofia, the strong-willed wife of Mister's son Harpo. These friends help Celie find the strength to become her own woman throughout the thirty years the story takes place.

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!!This novel and film contain examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Pa.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: It's revealed that Albert's evil streak was instilled in him by his father, same goes for Harpo by Mister.
* BlackBestFriend: Miss Millie is ''very'' attached to Sofia.
** Unusual of course, in that Sofia is much more of a prominent character than Miss Millie.
* BookEnds: The film begins with Celie and Nettie among the flowers, playing a clapping game. [[spoiler: It ends with the two sisters playing the same clapping game when they reunite decades later.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: [[spoiler:Towards the end, Eleanor Jane discovers just ''[[TraumaCongaLine how]]'' her parents "convinced" Sophia to be their maid. She responds by willingly helping Sophia help Celie run her shop, and when her parents protest this, Eleanor Jane simply tells them that a woman like Sophia didn't deserve to have to work for trash like them.]]
* ClosetKey: Shug, for Celie.
* CoolBigSis: Shug Avery starts out as this.
* {{Curse}}: Celie gives an ''epic'' one to Mister when she prepares to leave for Memphis with Shug: "Until you do right by me, everything you even think about is going to crumble." Though it's heavily implied that Mister's own HeelRealization soon afterward is what turns his life to shambles.
* DangerouslyCloseShave: Celie contemplates giving this to Mister before the razor's swiped from her hands.
** Mister is savvy to this very early on, warning her that if she ever so much as scratches him during a shave, he will kill her.
* DoesNotLikeMen: Celie, even going so far as to compare them to frogs in the novel. Considering how she's been treated by most of the men she knows, it's hard to really blame her.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Mister telling Harpo that "Wives is like children".
* DontSplitUsUp: Between [[TearJerker Celie and Nettie]].
* EpistolaryNovel
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Mister. In the novel, Celie just calls him "Mr. ___" and notes that others call him "Albert;" the film canonizes Albert Johnson as his name.
* GoodFeelsGood: Albert finally "doing right by" Celie, [[spoiler: by paying for her family to come back from Africa]].
* KarmaHoudini: Pa is never ever forced to face the consequences of his cruelty.
* KnownOnlyByTheirNickname: "Shug" is not Shug's real name, but rather a diminuitive of Sugar. There's only one line in the novel that reveals her real name, which is Lilli.
* INeverGotAnyLetters
* IfItsYouItsOkay: Celie and Shug.
** Although in Celie's case it's more like SingleTargetSexuality.
* TheLadette: Don't try to hit Sofia. You'll get the hardest beating.
* LivingWithTheVillain: From an arranged marriage no less.
* LongLostRelative: Celie and [[spoiler: her children.]]
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: Sophia and Harpo, at first. In the novel, Sophia makes mention of how Harpo loves to do traditionally feminine things like cooking, housekeeping and taking care of the children, while she prefers working in the fields and chopping wood.
* MoodWhiplash: The very opening scene, after the two sisters are shown enjoying themselves among the flowers.
* NotWorthKilling: Sofia pleads this when Celie has a carving knife against Mister's neck.
* ObliviouslyEvil: Miss Millie. She may not be as overtly nasty as the more present antagonists, but she's also too self-absorbed to notice her own abhorrent behavior.
* OutWithABang: Pa dies while having sex with his current wife. In the novel, Celie hopes that he'd gotten struck by lightning or died from a terrible disease, and [[KarmaHoudini is disappointed when she finds out he died quickly and relatively peacefully.]]
* RageBreakingPoint: [[spoiler:Celie's results in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.]]
* RapeAsDrama: In the first few pages of the book... and Walker was just getting started.
** Heavily implied in the movie, and did we mention that we were just talking about Celie.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler:Celie delivers a very well-deserved one to her husband, along with a {{Curse}} that he had coming.]]
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: What Shug and Celie ultimately become... much to Celie's displeasure.
* SingleIssuePsychology: Sofia is reduced to a broken shell after spending prison time for assaulting a racist mayor. An opportunity to crack a good joke later brings her back to her old self again. In the film version, [[spoiler: this moment comes when Celie finally stands up to Mister.]]
** The film goes on to subvert this trope shortly afterward, when [[spoiler: Celie tells Mister straight out that she's prepared to kill him if he tries to stop her from leaving.]] Sofia visibly shrinks, showing the audience that her old self is still in there, but truly overcoming her time in prison won't be that easy.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Unfortunately justified as this book/film takes place in the 1910s/early 1920s and Celie is black, poor and a woman - as Mister points out, who would care?
* AStormIsComing: The arrival of Shug Avery.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: After Sofia returns from prison, it's been so long that she cries because she no longer knows any of her friends or family.
* TitleDrop: Happens while Shug and Celie are passing a field of flowers.
* TranquilFury: [[spoiler:Celie, when she finally stands up to Mister.]]
* TraumaticHaircut: When Celie has a hard time combing her stepdaughters' hair, she suggest shaving the hair off and starting fresh, but Mister disagrees and says that it is "bad luck to cut a woman hair". The girls have to then endure hours of pain as Celie tries her best to detangle their hair.
* VillainousIncest: Pa, [[spoiler: who's later revealed to be not her real father.]]
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!!TheMusical contains examples of:

* BeautifulAllAlong: the song "Too Beautiful For Words" is Shug assured Celie of this.
* {{Bookends}}: [[spoiler: The little clapping game that Celie and Nettie play.]]
* ButtMonkey: ''Celie.''
* GossipyHens: Who double as a GreekChorus.
* GospelRevivalNumber: Several, especially the opening, "InMysteriousWays."
* GreekChorus
* InMysteriousWays: The title of the opening number - which is difficult to swallow, as it's a Church full of people who say they want to praise and honor God - yet they do ''nothing'' about the horrific abuse that they ''know'' is going on in Celie and Netti's house.
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