• Milan D. Todorović University of Kragujevac Faculty of Philology and Arts
  • Jelena M. Pavlović Jovanović University of Kragujevac Faculty of Philology and Arts



The Color Purple, Alice Walker, translation, epistolary novel, transformation


In this paper we focused on the transformation of the main character in the novel The Color Purple, Celie, through the letters she writes to God and her sister Nettie. We contrastively analysed the original text and its Serbian translation. In this paper we followed Celie’s path from an insecure and molested girl, to a confident and emancipated individual which can be observed in the development of her language and writing style. There are three types of letters within the novel: (a) letters written to God; (b) letters which introduce her transformation; (c) letters written to Celie’s sister Nettie. The insecurity of the protagonist is mirrored in her language which is a stylised version of African American English. The Serbian translation employed linguistic features that don’t belong to any particular dialect, but rather represent an approximation of the way undereducated people would speak. The beginning of the novel is characterised by short sentences, repetitive lexicon and the use of the prolonged underscore ______. In the second half of the novel the sentences become longer and the vocabulary richer. Going through the transformation from a victim of dire circumstances to a self-aware individual that accepts herself and her language, Celie represents a character of the Afro-American woman in specific historical circumstances. In addition to Celie, the transformation can be seen in other side characters, especially on the level of onomastics.


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How to Cite

Todorović, M. D. ., & Pavlović Jovanović, J. M. . (2023). TRANSFORMATION OF THE LITERARY HEROINE CELIE FROM A VICTIM TO A SELF-AWARE INDIVIDUAL IN THE NOVEL THE COLOR PURPLE. PHILOLOGIST – Journal of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, 14(27), 445–462.