Color Purple Conditioning

1325 Words6 Pages
A Film Analysis of Conditioning: “The Color Purple” “The mind creates a relationship between repeated simultaneous occurrences, and the body reacts to the connections the mind forms” (The Rape of the Mind, Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D.) In this analysis, of the Pulitzer Prize-winning story “The Color Purple”, written by Alice Walker (1982) and directed by Steven Spielberg (1985), I will give examples of events in Celie’s life and follow them with references supporting evidence of conditioning. “Conditioning is the process of learning to react to the environment. Many behaviors have been previously conditioned in the human species by the environment”, (John B. Watson). Low Self-Esteem: The Color Purple begins with the 14-year-old pregnant Celie and her sister Nettie playing. Their joy is quickly interrupted by the deliberate attack to Celie’s self-esteem, as her father tells her she has, “got the ugliest smile this side of creation”, (The Color Purple). • “Low self-esteem usually results from how we are conditioned by other people. If you were systematically…show more content…
It is a form of learning in which an aversive stimulus (e.g. an electrical shock) is associated with a particular neutral context (e.g., a room) or neutral stimulus (e.g., a tone), resulting in the expression of fear responses to the originally neutral stimulus or context”, (Wikipedia). Acceptance: Mister’s eldest son Harpo marries an uncontrollable woman named Sophia. Both Celie and his father suggests beating her. “Nothing works better than a good sound beating. She needs to be taken down a peg or two”, (The Color Purple). When Sophia confronts Celie for telling Harpo to beat her, Celie responses with, “this life be over soon. Heaven lasts always”, (The Color Purple). Sophia fights back and eventually leaves Harpo, unlike Celie. Celie had conformed to her husband’s expectations as a means of
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