Student examples ENG7

Course introduction: English - a culture creator or a culture killer?

Used with the permission of the creators for educational purposes.

Monroe's Motivated Sequence

Experiences of The Color Purple

Student example 1 - from not quite there yet to towards E

The Color Purple is an epistolary novel written by Alice Walker, which introduces the reader to the life of an african-american woman in the southern United States, in the first half of the 1900s. Celie, the main character, is introduced as an dependent woman, miserable with the life she's currently living. On the first page, Celie writes about how her dad ("Pa") rapes her. This book has no filter, its real, raw, naked and emotional from beggining to end, just like real life.

The color purple symbolizes the good things in life, that God creates for the people to enjoy. Both visually, mentally and physically. "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.", (p.197) says Shug. In the beginning of the book, Celie has no sense of the color purple, she's just holding on and surviving. Little does she know that it's really everywhere once you acknowledge it.

After a while of writing letters to God, Celie feels like giving up. Experiencing not only racism, but also sexism (two themes of the book) every day is tough and even a strong, hardworking woman like Celie has a breaking point. "Anyhow, I say, the God I been praying and writing to is a man. And act just like all the other mens I know. Trifling, forgitful and lowdown.", "If he ever listened to poor colored women the world would be a different place, I can tell you." (p.193), Celie writes to her sister Nettie. These two quotes quickly describes the way the men in this society acted towards a black woman such as Celie.

As a white woman in modern Sweden, this book makes me realize how priviledged I am. It isn't necessarily impossible to relate to because of mine and the main charcters differences, but it really gives a new perspective to both Celies and your own life. The way the book is written (in letters, almost like a diary) is what makes it so relatable and also the reason why it feels so raw. It's really amazing how Walker has managed to write a book about racism and sexism, and still keep it so accessible to everyone. I think that's what makes it so good, and revolutionary, everyone has something to learn from this book.

When Celie met Shug, things started to change for her. Shug teaches her how to stand up for herself, about God, and the color purple. "God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it." (p. 196) says Shug, "I believe God is in everything /.../" (p. 197). Celie listens and her life really changes - making personal growth (and how to get there) the main theme of the book. "I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with ." (p. 288).

The turning point of the book was when Celie found out that Albert had been keeping Nettie's letters away from her and, with support from Shug, Celie finally stands up for herself and takes back the control of her own life. From that point on, Celie really started to grow into the independent woman she finally became in the end. The climax was when Celie found out that "Pa" had died and left his house to Nettie and her, which gave them a huge financial freedom and the possibility to finally become completely independent.

In conclusion, The Color Purple is a raw and tough book. A book that everyone, black or white, male or female, young and old, can relate to in some way (it's just about life), and learn something from. Life is tough, so we have to be tougher, because in the end, it will all work out and, if we just acknowledge it, the color purple really is everywhere.


Some adjectives, chained in pairs

Few examples of fitting vocabulary

Many quotes which are explained


Repetitive, low variation

Few linking words. 

Postcolonial discussion is short. 

Student example 2  - from not quite there yet to towards E

The Color Purple is an espitolary novel written by Alice walker , taking place mostly in rural Georgia.This book focuses on the life of African-American people especially the women in southern US during 1930´s.

Throughout the story we are introduced to several characters but the main ones are the sisters Celie and Nettie.They were separated as young girls, yet they sustained their loyalty and hope across distance. Celie who has been att oppresed by men her whole life and is a victim of sexual and domestic abuse. However , Nettie as a young girl esacpes a lot of difficulties that Celie went through,for instance Nettie was not raped by thier father and she was able to stay at school whereas Celie had to quit due to her pregnancy. Later on Nettie becomes a missionary in Africa.The sisters share a strong bond and the try to protect each other from the harms och struggles of the post colonial society they live in.

The book explores many post- colonial themes which is significant since it provides good examples from the lives of the diffrent characters. However the themes this essay is going to adress are colonial education and racism.

Throughout this novel they are few examples of colonial education, such as Netties missionary work in Africa. The goal with colonial education was to remove the colonized people drom thier indigenous learning , by instilling them with western belifes and value. Therefore the missionarie´s misson was not only to spread the christian faith but also broaden the English language and to civilise the afrikan people. We see that Nettie has absorbed white/western culture values, for instance her use of Englsih is very european unlike Celie´s African-American "folk language".We also see through Netties later that she is very educated unlike many African-American people at that time. Even Nettie´s opinion about the Olinka people (african tribe) at times resembles a white persons point of view.

In Addition, Nettie is sometimes unsure of her missionary ambitions and how useful it is for the Olinka people.This proves that her position is ambivalent and that it shifts betwwen cultures(white-Black). Although Nettie is black , her role as missionary is at times more similar to a white colonizers role for the Olinka than jsut she helping them.

Moreover racism is an impotant theme and is generally viewed as cage in this novel,by which balck people are suppresed by white people. Racism is a belief/view that one race is superior than the other races. For example when Sofia Harpo´s wife gets beaten almost to death by the white mayor and the police. This occured because Sofia refused to be the Mayors maid and she was unwilling to postion herself in an insulting place.In order for the Mayor and police to proclaim their racial dominace over , they beat her. For that reason Sofia´s imprisonment is a metaphor for black people´s imprisonment by the police.

Due this racism in "The Color Purple" , we understand that the antogonist is the white person agianst the powerless black person.Nevertheless it is interesting to acknowledge how much violence , racism and cruelty it is whithin the black community. We notice how Mr. abuses Celie mentally/verbally and physically. Besides that , there is aslo belief among the black community that bright skin is considered more beautiful than a darker skin complexion. Though we need to understand that they who bring violence are normally victims themselves of some form of abuse and racial discrimination.This is one of the consequences of colonial education, white people taught blacks , by telling and showing them that their darker skin is ugly and because of that they are worthless.

Finally , this story remindes me of how lucky and privilageI am. It is also a reminder of how horrible and difficult is must been during the 1930´s in US as a black female. Yet there is still racial injustices and the colonial era have left it marks on todays society. There have been recent events of how police brutality is still a huge problem and that racism is still alive but in another form. Nonetheless this book have tought me the value of having strong relationnships in life and the importance of having hope and to holding on to it.


Student example nr 2  - from to towards C to A

The book color purple introduces the reader to the african american women's struggle for empowerment. The book tells us about how men used their power to control women, and how poor Celie suffer in the hands of men. But throughout the book we learn different characters, different women who also learning how to become stronger and be their own person without men telling them how to be or behave.

The phrase " you better not never tell nobody but God. It'd kill your mommy". Reminds of a lot how men treated women long time ago, where men controlled women and how isolated Celie was, how she was scared to make her voice heard and the only one she could speak/write to was God, no one but only God. It made me think of how she would escape from suffering absuive household and marriage but the more throughout the book the more character development i see from her.

In the novel, the author uses examples of post-colonial theory, such as otherness and eurocentrism. Otherness where one group exclude or margnalize another group. The author brought up racism and internal racism in the book that clearly showed how normalized racism back then was. Example of how much privilage white people had was when Sofia met the mayor's wife that looked at Sofia's children as if they are some exotic objects and then asked Sofia if she wanted to be their maid. Sofia answered them with " hell no" which led to the mayor slap Sofia in the face and Sofia fought back. The problem was that Sofia was the only one put in jail even though the Mayor was in the wrong too. But because of Sofia being black, it's her fault because they see her as an "angry black woman". Another incident in the book that showed clearly of internal racism and also sexism was when people described Shug Avery. They saw her as "slutty" because she wore bright colored dresses and revealing clothes and they also thought of her as too dark which is an insult because where they lived in a eurocentrism country where white people was the ideal beauty and being too dark was "dirty" or being "poor". and because of the eurocentrism perspective was the norm. Or when Nettie tried to make the Olinka tribe christian and learn them in western way even thoug they couldn't care elss which is example of eurocetrism.

This book remind me of how long women have struggle for not only sexism but also racism and for not being the beauty standard. Back in the days when i was younger, bothme, my black friends and asian friends went through racism from both white adults and children. It was normalized as we lived in a city where there was not a lot of colored children. I remember how white people opinion about how i looked as a child affected my view of myself and how i hated being asian.Not only does black women endure racism from white people but also from black men, i don't know how many articles i've read or how many videos i've seen online where black men kill black women or black men humiliate black women online and calls them ugly compared to white women but when they get called out for being racist, they excuses themselves and say it's a prefernce. Calling a black women is like calling their own mother ugly because she is black. Black men are supposed to be by black women sides and not against them. And same goes to white men and women because we all are humans. putting others down doesn't make us to a better person.

The color purple leaves us thinking about sexism, racism and the struggle of african women. I've learned how the colonial of the theme othernes have affected people's view of each other and how much people judge one and another based on their skin color. When i read the book and see the different characters it makes me to think of each women representing each struggle. Celie struggle with abuse and controlled by Mr, Sofia is a strong woman which men fear because she doesn't let them put her down and Shug Avery doesn't care about people telling her how to behave and wear because she does what she wants despite being judge by her skin color and her revealing clothes. These women all devloped to strong characters and show us how to not give up and not letting men telling you how to live.


Some examples of fitting vocabulary

Good structure with some linking words

Strong discussion related to the issues in the book together with real-life examples


Grammar mistakes related to genetive case: "Celie suffer" (sufferS)

Occasionally, some sentences lack words

Exampels of Swenglish sentence structures

Learn instead teach

Student example nr 3 - from to towards C to A

With the help of her characters in 'The Color Purple', Alice Walker introduces the reader to relevant and important topics like racism, discrimination and abuse. Celie, the main character, had a rough start in life, the man she thought of as her father was very abusive, both sexually, and physically, throughout her childhood. At a young age Celie is forced to marry a man referred to as Mr.___. Mr.___ is significantly older than Celie and has several devious children from a previous marriage, children that Celie is now expected to care for. Despite all of Celie's horrendous experiences there is one thing she loves in life, her sister Nettie. Celie allows Nettie to escape their abusive childhood home and move in with her and Mr.___. It does not take long however, before Mr.___ evicts his unwanted guest and Nettie is finds herself alone on the streets. Not having heard from her sister in years, Celie assumes that Nettie is dead, until the truth is unraveled when she finds all the letters that Mr.___ has hidden.

Nettie's first letters explain how she met a wonderful family that welcomed her in to their home. The family members, Sam, Corrine and their two adopted children, plan to go on a missionary trip to Africa and invite Nettie to come with them. When they arrive in Africa the inhabitants of the village are baffled, they never thought missionaries could be black. It is very common that white people, especially white women, come to African villages and try to "save" the villagers. This phenomenon is called 'white saviourism' and often does more harm than good. Sending white missionaries to "save" black people states that there is something wrong with the way Africans live. In 'The Color Purple' this becomes apparent on p.155 "The white missionary would not let us have this ceremony, said Joseph." . The cermony is a celebration and appreciation of 'roofleaf', something that is fundamental for building huts that withstand weather. The missionary trip is an example of how the author uses post-colonial theory and addresses issues like eurocentrism and colonial education. Eurocentrism is the belief that european values, like christianity, are the only correct ones, this is the reason christian churches send missionaries to teach the "savage Africans" about religion. Teaching about christian and western beliefs is also an example of colonial education.

Throughout her letters Nettie also describes hierachical structures similar to what Celie experiences in the USA. Nettie writes about the descrimination towards women in the African village, they are supposed to care for the children, cook, clean and work in the field. No girl is allowed education and their only goal should be to find a husband that can provide for them. Similarly, Celie was forced to marry young and is expected to cook, clean, work in a field and care for someone elses children. As the story continues Nettie persuades the fathers to allow their daughtes in to the school and Celie finds the courage to leave Mr.___ and start her own business. Another similarity between Celie's and Nettie's lives is how the white people abuse their power. White people come to the African village and decide to turn it into a plantage for rubber trees, they destroy the roofleaf and force the villagers to move. The villagers are forced to pay rent for their own land and to buy tin from the colonizers for their buildings. In Celie's story there are many examples of white people abusing their power. A prominent one being when the mayor and his wife ensure that Celie's friend Sophia is imprisoned for being sassy towards the mayor's wife.

Parts of the story remind me of my own life. A quote that stuck with me was "All her young life she has tried to please her father, never quite realising that, as a girl she never could." from p. 166. I feel a connection with that young girl because I myself recently realised that there are relatives that I will never please, no matter what I do, simply because I am not a boy. More importantly I also realised how privileged I am as a white person in today's world. All the systemic racism, dicrimination and police brutality does not affect me to the extent it affects black people.

Most authors would shy away from writing such a personal, emotional and powerful book because it is so easily ruined by a single misstep. Alice Walker however, gracefully takes on the task and writes a marvellous story so unbelievably detailed it leaves every reader feeling as though it might as well have happened directly to them. The uneasiness felt as a white person is closely related to a newfound distrust and criticism towards our fundamental social structures.


Fitting vocabulary connected relevant themes, adjectives to explain these

Great structure using linking words, both externally and internally

Several examples of postcolonial theory along with examples from The Color Purple


One minor grammatical mistake

The Power of Language

A Warning to the Future

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is a "transparent, coherent and comprehensive reference instrument" by the  Council of Europe (retrieved 2019-07-05). The course English 7 is aligned with B2.2, in the highger levels is B2 and lower ends of C1. Please use the chart below as a reference.