The Magical Recovery of Truth, in The Colour Purple and Oranges are not the only Fruit
Question: ‘The Colour Purple’ and ‘Oranges are not the only Fruit’ are novels about the “magical recovery of truth that a world caught in lies has all but obscured” Ruth El Saffar. In light of this statement explore how both protagonists recover their lost identities.
The uncovering of truth and discovery of identity runs as a thematic thread throughout both novels. Alice Walker and Jeanette Winterson revise the ways in which Celie and Jeanette, through many personal and communal experiences, construct their identity and question the beliefs that once shaped their lives. The difficult process of unlearning the rules of societal expectations and resisting the indoctrinations imposed onto them is reflective of the views held by both authors. Walker and Winterson use their novels as a social commentary on the ways that an oppressive society or community can utilize the social constructs of race, gender, sexuality, and religious doctrines still prevalent within 1980’s America and Britain, as a means to subjugate and silence those unable or unwilling to conform, preventing them from discovering their true identities.