The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
A reverend, married to Corrine. Kind and good, Samuel adopts two children, Olivia and Adam, who are given to him by Pa (and who turn out to be Celie's children). He and his wife also take in Nettie after she flees from Mr. _____'s house, not realizing that she is the children's aunt. He travels with his wife, two children, and Nettie, to Africa, where he serves as a missionary to the Olinka. After his wife's death, Samuel marries Nettie, and the entire family travels back to Georgia to reunite with Celie.

Samuel Quotes in The Color Purple

The The Color Purple quotes below are all either spoken by Samuel or refer to Samuel. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Pocket Books edition of The Color Purple published in 1985.
Letter 58 Quotes

Did I mention my first sight of the African coast? Something struck in me, in my soul, Celie, like a large bell, and I just vibrated. Corrine and Samuel felt the same. And we kneeled down right on deck and gave thanks to God for letting us see the land for which our mothers and fathers cried—and lived and died—to see again.

Related Characters: Nettie (speaker), Samuel, Corrine
Related Symbols: God
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

Nettie's life is much "larger," geographically, than Celie's is - she travels with Samuel and Corrine into Africa as part of an evangelizing mission, to spread Christianity among African peoples and to share the good news with populations with whom they understand themselves to live in a greater community. Nettie marvels at the seats of African culture and their relationship to black life in the American South. And she wishes that Celie were present to share in this wonderment with her.

Nettie's response to a visit to Africa represents one of many versions of African American cultural revival in the South of this time. For some, like Celie (who has no other choice, in effect), African American life is about living in the United States, about a set of circumstances particular to being born and raised in the South. For others, like Nettie, the African American experience is linked to the African experience, and it is important for her to find the networks that connect one aspect of this broader culture to another. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Color Purple quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Letter 80 Quotes

You may have guessed that I loved him all along; but I did not know it. oh, I loved him as a brother . . . but Celie, I love him bodily, as a man! I love his walk, his size, his shape, his smell, the kinkiness of his hair.

Related Characters: Nettie (speaker), Samuel
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

Nettie confides in Celie here, telling her that, after years, she finds herself married to Samuel, and that she has fallen in love with him. Corrine, of course, feared for a long time that this might happen, and Nettie betrays a small amount of guilt for confirming, even if only after Corrine's death, the fear that she long harbored.

But Nettie is happy and has found a way to cement her familial relationship with Adam and Olivia, and to care for the man she loves. As Nettie describes it, this is a love that is affirming both for her and for Samuel - they feel comfortable doing things together, and take a great deal of satisfaction merely from being in one another's presence. Meanwhile, Celie has similarly recognized over the course of the novel that her lifelong love has been Shug, and that this relationship with her has allowed her further to grow and recognize her own abilities. 

Letter 90 Quotes

And I see they [the children] think that me and Nettie and Shug and Albert and Samuel and Harpo and Sofia and Jack and Odessa real old . . . But I don't think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt.

Related Characters: Celie (speaker), Nettie, Mr. _____ (Albert), Shug Avery, Sofia, Harpo, Samuel, Adam, Olivia, Tashi, Jack and Odessa
Related Symbols: God
Page Number: 295
Explanation and Analysis:

This is the marvelous closing passage to the novel. After all that has happened to Celie and to Nettie - after all the miles Nettie has traveled, after all that Celie has been through in remaining in the South - time feels, in this passage, not to have passed at all. It is as though time itself was brought to a halt, or a new kind of time is here introduced. Celie and Nettie, reunited, can now make physical the bond that has united them in letters for years. And this bond is made even stronger by the presence of family, both biological and affiliative, that Celie and Nettie have assembled over the many intervening years. Despite their hardships, Celie and Nettie recognize that their stories are stories of family togetherness, of bonds made and sustained despite the incredible difficulty of their circumstances. The Color Purple thus ends triumphantly, as a celebration of the power of love in the face of violence and hatred.

Get the entire The Color Purple LitChart as a printable PDF.
The color purple.pdf.medium

Samuel Character Timeline in The Color Purple

The timeline below shows where the character Samuel appears in The Color Purple. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter 10
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...store. Celie asks who the child's father is, and the woman replies that it's the Reverend Mr. ____ (later revealed to be Samuel). This last name is unfamiliar to Celie. (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
The Reverend is not yet present to pick up his wife and daughter, so Celie invites them... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...shocked by this information, and happy that the child is in fact hers, but the Reverend quickly arrives and takes Olivia and his wife away in his wagon. (full context)
Letter 11
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...Nettie's refusal, that Nettie must leave their house. Celie gives Nettie the name of the Reverend and his wife—the only people, Celie says, she has ever seen with money. Celie tells... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...She promises Celie she will write to her when she reaches the house of the Reverend and Corrine. But, Celie says, in this letter to God, that Nettie never does write. (full context)
Letter 52
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie fled into the town and stopped at the Reverend's house, where Celie had told her to go. Nettie recognized the young girl, the Reverend's... (full context)
Letter 53
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie's next letter says that she has settled in with Samuel and Corrine (the Reverend and his wife). Nettie wonders whether Celie will read Nettie's letters... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie repeats that Celie's two children, being raised as adopted children by Samuel and Corrine, are named Olivia and Adam. Nettie promises to take care of these children... (full context)
Letter 54
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...them somewhere, and that this is preventing Celie from responding to Nettie. Nettie says that Samuel will not let Nettie visit Celie, since he believes it is wrong to "come between... (full context)
Letter 55
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...been writing Celie letters from a steamer ship; she is headed to Africa, with the Reverend and Corrine, as a missionary. But out of despair, Nettie destroys her letters, written on... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie reports that she has taken the job as an assistant to Samuel and Corrine, and as a maid to Adam and Olivia, overseas in Africa. Nettie also... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...as much as she could about the continent and its people. She also reports that Samuel and Corrine believe Olivia and Adam have been sent to them by God. Only Nettie... (full context)
Letter 56
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...they set sail. Nettie sees Harlem, the largest black community she has ever experienced, and Samuel, Corrine, and Adam and Olivia collect money for their missionary activities from preachers and members... (full context)
Letter 57
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie and the Reverend's family next sail from New York to England, where they meet with more missionaries and... (full context)
Letter 58
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Their next stop is Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. There, Nettie and the Reverend's family meet the President of Liberia (named Tubman) and a large part of Tubman's cabinet,... (full context)
Letter 61
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...finished reading. In the letter, Nettie describes how an African man named Joseph welcomed Nettie, Samuel, Corrine, and the two children at the port near the village where they would be... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...they wonder if Nettie is the mother of the two children, and they ask if Samuel is married both to Corrine and Nettie, as is possible in Olinka culture. Samuel and... (full context)
Letter 62
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...the morning till late at night, helping with every aspect of life there, and with Samuel and Corrine's missionary labors. Nettie enjoys the work, but finds it utterly exhausting. (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...avoid confusion, Nettie should make clear to the villagers that she is not married to Samuel, and that Corrine is. Nettie is slighted and upset by this, but she nevertheless agrees.... (full context)
Letter 64
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...the Olinka. Corrine has grown even more distant from Nettie, asking that Nettie not visit Samuel's hut unless she (Corrine) is present. (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...she finds mostly inspiring, although the friendship between common wives (to the same man) confuses Samuel, who believes it is not Christian. Olinkan women typically support one another, and give one... (full context)
Letter 65
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...of the village will be destroyed. After a trip to the coast with Corrine and Samuel, Nettie also learns that the Olinkan land has been purchased by an English rubber company. (full context)
Letter 66
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...Nettie is tending to the ill Corrine one day, Corrine asks when exactly Nettie met Samuel. It is revealed that Corrine believes Nettie to be the biological mother of the children... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Corrine forces Nettie to swear on a Bible that Nettie met Samuel the day she met Corrine. Corrine examines Nettie's stomach to see if there are signs... (full context)
Letter 67
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
It turns out that Samuel also assumed the children were Nettie's biologically—this is why he was so eager to have... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Samuel explains that, back in Georgia, many years ago, a black man owned a dry goods... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Pa knew Samuel from the community, and pretended that the children Olivia and Adam were children he had... (full context)
Letter 70
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie, in another letter, tells how she and Samuel attempt to convince Corrine that Nettie is the children's biological aunt, and that Celie is... (full context)
Letter 71
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...about her children's parentage, for many years. In the middle of the night, Corrine tells Samuel that, finally, she believes Celie is the children's mother. Samuel is relieved to hear this.... (full context)
Letter 80
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie reads another of Nettie's letters. Nettie reports that she has married Samuel, and she begins to explain how this has happened. Over the past year, the British... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...so unbearable for the Olinkans—they even had to buy their own water from the British—that Samuel, Nettie, and the two children sailed back to England, to figure out what they could... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie and Samuel meet a white woman on the boat back to England named Doris, who has black... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Samuel begins telling Nettie, on the boat and back in London, where they are visiting, the... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Samuel went to college (at an unnamed school) and so did Corrine, at Spelman Seminary, a... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
But Samuel wonders whether the twenty years they have now spent with the Olinka have done any... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie and Samuel, after this discussion of Samuel's life, soon fall to confessing love for one another, and... (full context)
Letter 81
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
On their return to Africa, Nettie, Samuel, and the two children search for Tashi, who is hiding in the village. It turns... (full context)
Letter 86
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie and Samuel worry what is to become of the Olinkans, but they try to find God everywhere—in... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Nettie ends the letter by saying that Adam has also disappeared, and she and Samuel believe he has gone into the jungle to find Tashi, among the mbeles. (full context)
Letter 88
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Samuel and Nettie decide to go back to America, however, because the Olinkan village has shrunk... (full context)
Letter 90
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...do not know who it could be, and Celie cannot believe her eyes: it's Nettie, Samuel, Adam, Tashi, and Olivia. Celie and Nettie are so shocked, upon being reunited, that they... (full context)