An examination of the coping strategies of vulnerable and victimized women characters in Alice Walker's fiction does suggest possibilities for coping with racial oppression. The most oppressed woman in Walker's fiction, however, is not Mem, Margaret, or Celie, but Sofia, the wife of Harpo, Celie's stepson in The Color Purple. Certainly Sofia is one of those “women who are cruelly exploited, spirits and bodies mutilated, relegated to the most narrow and confining lives, sometimes driven to madness.” But she is not brutalized by her husband. Her tormentors are much more powerful and, therefore, much more frightening.

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