A soldier's world
Historical fiction as a genre inherently contains both truth and falsities. While the falsities are a natural consequence of any piece of fiction, the truth held within a novel can exhibit the values of the writer and the era in which she writes. Historical fiction attempts to comment on the time period of the piece as well as the period in which the author lives through the truths that the author emphasizes. Alice Walker, in her novel The Color Purple shows that domestic abuse, feminine identity, and racism and the violence associated with it, are all issues within the novel as well as in her own time. Walker’s novel demonstrates how the problems and solutions haven’t changed or evolved over time, even though over 50 years have passed from the time of her story to her time, even though in her time, the Civil Rights Act had been signed. Domestic abuse continued to be swept under the rug by the majority of the world, and African American women had lost their definition of what it meant to be a woman and what it meant to be feminine. By writing the historical novel The Color Purple, and embedding it with truths about race, sex, gender, and violence, Walker hoped to show how the world had not changed and to change the way that people saw each other and more importantly themselves.
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