Literary Conflict in The Color Purple

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Color Purple


Literary Conflict in The Color Purple

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Activity Overview


Storyboarding is an excellent way to focus on types of literary conflicts.

Having students create storyboards that show the cause and effect of different types of conflicts strengthens analytical thinking about literary concepts. Have your students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict them using the storyboard creator. In the storyboard, an example of each conflict should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict.


Examples of Literary Conflict in The Color Purple

MAN vs. MAN

Celie becomes murderous when she discovers that Albert has been keeping Nettie’s letters from her all these years. With Shug’s help, she manages to keep her rage under control until Shug and Grady can get her to Memphis with them, but not before she lashes out at Albert.


MAN vs. SELF

Celie doesn’t see herself as deserving of love and respect. She feels dumb in comparison to everything that Nettie has learned in school, and she feels dull in her looks in comparison to Shug. Celie doggedly lives her life with Albert, raising his children, because she thinks that’s the only option she has.


MAN vs. SOCIETY

The common Christian belief is that Christians need to do all that they can to please God; however, Shug believes that the way to please God is to enjoy the things in life that make us happy. This leads Shug to go where she wants, love who she wants, and do what she wants, which all goes against the traditional teachings of Christianity, and what was expected of women and their behavior in the South during this time period.



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in The Color Purple.


  1. Identify conflicts in The Color Purple.
  2. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  3. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  4. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

Literary Conflict Template

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