Applying Adult Learning Theory through a Character Analysis

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Ed.D. Program


Craig A. White

134 McEntire LN SW A36

Day Telephone:

256-313-4790 (Central)

Evening Telephone:

256-565-5751 (Central)

Assignment Title:

Assignment 3

Date of Submission:

February 14, 2010

Assignment Due Date:

February 14, 2010


EDUC - 8101

Section Number:




Course Instructor:

DR James Keen

Peer Editor:

Faculty Mentor:

(Include when assigned)

Applying Adult Learning Theory through a Character Analysis

In Alice Walker's (1982) novel The Color Purple, many of the characters transform from one type of character to another. The protagonist, Miss Celie, morphs from what her husband's mistress declares that Miss Celie, "show is ugly" (p. 46) to a woman defined by her son as "beautiful", as portrayed in the film adaptation of the novel. Moreover, Celie transforms from a much abused milquetoast to an empowered, independent woman. Though Miss Celie undergoes a transformation, one character whose presence resonates as strongly as Celie's throughout the story, and whose transformation is the inverse of Celie's, is that of Sofia.

Sofia is the strong-willed, domineering, defiant, and physically imposing step-daughter-in-law of Celie. Sofia declares that she loves her husband but on the other hand will "kill him dead before I let him beat me" (p. 40). One day she runs into the mayor and his wife, Miss Millie. Miss Millie finds Sofia's children very "clean" and asks Sofia to be her maid. Sofia rejects this offer in a harsh manner; "Hell no," she bluntly says. The mayor, offended by this, slaps her. Sofia slugs him and for this she is beaten by a mob of whites and sent to jail where she remains for twelve years. Sofia is the ideal character to explore a character analysis juxtaposed to the adult learning theories of Knowles and of Skinner. First, Malcolm Shepherd Knowles...