Welcome to the final episode of The Hydrangea Effect!
I, Lily, wasn't able to be in the actual podcast itself, but I will add on to my group members' thoughts here and pose some questions of my own!
First, I agree that Alice Walker and her writing were directly affected by her own personal experiences. I also believe in the idea that the story could have very well been based off of/inspired by a member of Walker's own family. My group talks about the fact that one of walkers great-grandparents could have likely been a slave given the time she was born in, so it is very likely that her own personal history affected this novel in one way or another. Another point I would like to make is about the inclusion of Nettie and her travel to Africa. I believe that Alice Walker had a great intention with the inclusion of this part of the story. I feel as though she wanted the reader to draw the comparisons between being black in a country such as the U.S. versus being black in a country like Africa. African-Americans have to go through so much while living here in the U.S., and I feel as though Walker intended to bring attention to that in her writing.
Some questions that I would like to pose for both listeners and my other group members are:
1. Why do you think the author chose to have a main character such as Celie who is more introverted and soft spoke instead of a stronger female lead such as Shug Avery or Sofia?
2. How do you think the reaction to this book differs between when we are reading it today versus when it first was released? Bonus: How do you think people in the 1910s-1940s (The time the book is set in) would have reacted to this book?
-"Why did they sell us? How could they have done it? And why do we still love them?" (57.4-5)
-"I love children, say Sofia. But all the colored women that say they love yours is lying… Some colored people so scared of whitefolks they claim to love the cotton gin." (87.56-57)
Thanks for listening~!