The Color Purple

The Color Purple

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Shug Avery Character Analysis

A singer who is considered a "nasty woman" by those in the community, because she has relationships with numerous men, Shug becomes friends (and, later, lovers) with Celie, teaching Celie about sexuality, love, and spirituality in the process. She also carries on a long-standing relationship with Mr. _____, who is married to Celie for much of that time. After leaving Celie, with whom she was living in Memphis, for "one last fling" with a young man named Germaine, Shug returns to Celie and lives in her home in Georgia.

Shug Avery Quotes in The Color Purple

The The Color Purple quotes below are all either spoken by Shug Avery or refer to Shug Avery. 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 9 Quotes

I lay there thinking bout Nettie while he [Mr. _____] on top of me, wonder if she safe. And then I think bout Shug Avery. I know what he doing to me he done to Shug Avery and maybe she like it. I put my arm around him.

Related Characters: Celie (speaker), Nettie, Mr. _____ (Albert), Shug Avery
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

Celie's sexual relationship with Mr. ____ is here described. She allows Mr. ____ to make love to her, although Celie herself allows her mind to wander elsewhere. It is telling that Celie's first concern is for Nettie and her safety. Celie's thought is of Shug Avery, whom Celie doesn't yet know, but with whom Celie is fascinated.

Celie does not, at this stage of the novel, fully understand what her interest in Shug might be, but she already has decided to act like she imagines Shug to act - to pretend to enjoy sex because she assumes Shug enjoys it. Celie does not yet know that Shug has a "bad reputation" around the town - that Shug has been in relationships with several men other than Mr. ____.

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Letter 14 Quotes

Lord, I want to go [to see Shug Avery] so bad. Not to dance. Not to drink. Not to play card. Not even to hear Shug Avery sing. I just be thankful to lay eyes on her.

Related Characters: Celie (speaker), Shug Avery
Related Symbols: God
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:

Celie's devotion to Shug is here made even clearer. Celie states that she would do anything just to observe Shug as she sings and walks the stage. Celie is enraptured by the power of Shug's personality, even from afar, and she believes that Shug's performance will be a highlight for her - a representation of just what is possible for a woman to achieve, even within the narrow strictures of the society into which Celie has been born.

Celie also takes pains to note here that she is not interested in going to the night club to engage in what might be called "immoral" behavior. Celie retains, for herself, an idea that gambling and drinking lead only to self-destruction. Celie does not ask for much - only to be allowed to enjoy herself in an environment where someone (most notably a man) isn't bullying her or forcing her to work. In the night club, watching Shug, Celie might have a taste of her own independence. 

Letter 26 Quotes

What that song? I ast. Sound low down dirty to me. Like what the preacher tell you its sin to hear. Not to mention sing.

She hum a little more. Something come to me, she say. Something I made up. Something you help scratch out my head.

Related Characters: Celie (speaker), Shug Avery (speaker)
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

The relationship between Shug and Celie deepens in this scene, as Celie combs Shug's hair. Although Celie and Shug do not yet engage in romantic behavior, there is nevertheless an intimate quality to their interaction here.

Shug is a creative spirit, and eventually goes on to spur that creativity in Celie. Celie has long looked for a creative outlet as a part of her journey of self-discovery - she has attempted to find a way to express herself and her feelings. Of course, Celie has been doing this all along without exactly understanding how or why - she has been keeping a journal of the events of her life, the journal that forms the basis of the narrative that the reader reads as the novel itself. Celie will, later on, begin to understand that she is a writer and storyteller - but, for now, she is content with witnessing Shug engage in her own acts of creation. 

Letter 40 Quotes

I don't know, say the prizefighter. This sound mighty much like some ole uncle Tomming to me.

Shug snort, Well, she say, Uncle Tom wasn't call Uncle for nothing.

Related Characters: Shug Avery (speaker), Buster Broadnax (speaker), Shug Avery, Buster Broadnax
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

Shug is extraordinarily clever, and wishes to release Sofia from her imprisonment by whatever means are available to her. She understands that one role white men and women are comfortable with, for African Americans, is that of maid or servant - and although Shug recognizes that this would in fact be difficult for Sofia to manage, it would be far, far better than Sofia remaining in prison. And so Shug does what she can to court the favor and approval of white society, causing the prizefighter to argue that Shug is enticing Squeak, and indirectly Sofia, to perform for and act obsequious toward white society. This is "uncle Tomming."

Shug goes on to quip, however, that Squeak is in fact related to a white family in town, and the prison warden is in fact her uncle, so "uncle" would certainly be an apt term in this case. Shug maintains her composure and her ability to joke even in the most serious of circumstances - and nevertheless is capable of helping Sofia to improve her lot despite the punishment she is sentenced to in prison.

Letter 46 Quotes

She singing all over the country these days. Everybody know her name. She know everybody, too. Know Sophie Tucker, know Duke Ellington, know folks I ain't never heard of. And money. She make so much money she don't know what to do with it.

Related Characters: Celie (speaker), Shug Avery
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:

Shug's success on the touring circuit in the South is one of the emergent features of the novel. Shug's development as a character involves her getting more and more recognition for the quality of her singing. Celie has long been proud of Shug's accomplishments - indeed, she has held her in awe. Shug, for her part, encourages Celie to pursue her own passions.

In a most immediate sense, these passions are physical. In this section of the novel, Celie confides in Shug that she has never had an orgasm, and therefore considers herself to be a "virgin" with Mr. ____. Celie's realization that Shug has gotten what she wants from life by going out into the world and asserting herself, coupled with Celie's continued journaling, causes her to approach her own enjoyment in a more proactive way. This quality will grow in Celie as the novel continues. 

Letter 73 Quotes

She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other pope. But one day . . it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh.

Shug! I say.

Related Characters: Celie (speaker), Shug Avery (speaker)
Related Symbols: God
Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:

Celie is struck by the nature of Shug's religious experiences. Celie, for her part, has stopped writing to God, and now writes to Nettie, just as Nettie has written to Celie for years. And Celie is not sure that Nettie will ever receive her letters, just as Nettie has continued her writing despite total unawareness that Celie has been reading, after a long period of not knowing the letters existed.

For Shug, God is a sensual and spiritual entity that exists in all living things, and that ties living beings together, unifying them even if they do not appear to be unified. Shug takes a great deal of comfort in this unifying energy, and even connects it to her sexuality. Celie, though she is at first surprised to hear that Shug speaks of God in this way, comes to realize that Shug's connection to earthly life and sexuality is a powerful and sustaining one. 

Letter 82 Quotes

Then she took some cedar sticks out of her bag and lit them and gave one of them to me. Us started at the very top of the house . . . and us smoked it all the way down to the basement, chasing out all the evil and making a place for good.

Related Characters: Celie (speaker), Shug Avery
Related Symbols: God
Page Number: 253
Explanation and Analysis:

This is a turning point in the novel. Tapping into some of Shug's ideas of spirituality, Celie moves with her through the home, airing it out, and removing from it the "spirits" that have long haunted it. As part of her journey of self-discovery, Celie, along with Shug, begins to tell herself that her life has been lived in subservience to men - and that life can be so much more than this. Shug has helped Celie to realize that even the oddest or most personal ritual, if genuinely believed, can help one to overcome inner demons - to reassert authority of a world that, for so long, has given Celie nothing.

Indeed, as Celie's journey comes closer and closer to its conclusion, the reader realizes just how much Celie and Nettie's lives have been intertwined, despite the enormous distances between them. Each has lived a life in search of true love and commitment - and each has found it, after years of hardship. 

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.

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Shug Avery Character Timeline in The Color Purple

The timeline below shows where the character Shug Avery appears in The Color Purple. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter 6
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
...____ is dogged by rumors that he continues a romantic relationship with a woman named Shug Avery. (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Celie asks her stepmother who Shug Avery is. Her stepmother gets a picture of Shug, which Celie finds entrancing. Celie sleeps... (full context)
Letter 12
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...keep them clean and disciplined. The sisters report that Mr. ____ was always "chasing around" Shug Avery while Annie Julia was home with the children. (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
The sisters complain about Shug Avery, saying that, as a singer, she is conceited, untrustworthy, and a woman who loves... (full context)
Letter 14
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug is coming to town to sing. Mr. ____ prepares himself to meet her (he has... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie sees a copy of the bill advertising Shug's show. Celie wants to go: not to dance or drink, but just for a chance... (full context)
Letter 15
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Mr. ____ spends the entire long weekend with Shug. When he comes home, without Shug, he is distraught. Celie wants to hear about her—what... (full context)
Letter 16
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
...Celie believes that Mr. ____ has stopped working because he is still in love with Shug, and upset that their brief time together is over. (full context)
Letter 22
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
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Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug Avery is sick, and everyone in town blames her illness on her "wild," independent ways.... (full context)
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Race and Racism Theme Icon
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Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie is excited that Shug is coming to stay with them—so excited, she can barely speak to Shug as Shug... (full context)
Letter 23
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In her sickness, Shug lies in bed in Mr. ____'s house and lashes out at him, calling him a... (full context)
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When Celie talks to Mr. ____ about Shug, he says it's OK by him if Celie wants Shug to leave, even though he,... (full context)
Letter 24
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Even though Shug has been his lover, and they have had three children together, Mr. ____ is nervous... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug asks if Celie has children; Celie replies that she has two, but that she does... (full context)
Letter 25
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie cooks a large breakfast for the family—eggs, biscuits, ham—and asks if Shug would like some. Shug says no, that she only wants coffee and cigarettes. Celie leaves... (full context)
Letter 26
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie helps Shug by combing out her hair, which hasn't been combed for a very long time, and... (full context)
Letter 27
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Mr. ____'s father comes to the house and yells at Mr. ____ for taking in Shug and tending to her in her sickness. Mr. ____'s father considers Shug to be a... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Mr. ____'s father says that Shug comes from a bad family, and that Shug's mother makes her living taking in laundry... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Tobias, Mr. ____'s brother, comes over a few days later. He asks about Shug's health and talks about his wife, Margaret, who, he claims, doesn't work as hard as... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Shug comes out and says hello to Tobias. She then tries to learn to sew from... (full context)
Letter 28
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...Celie have begun working on a large quilt that Celie wants either to give to Shug or to keep for herself. She wishes to give it to Shug only if it... (full context)
Letter 30
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...lovemaking with Mr. ____; he cares only about his own pleasure, and Celie dreams about Shug when they're having sex. Sofia complains, to Celie, that Harpo too thinks only of himself... (full context)
Letter 33
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...Swain playing some songs on weekends, but there are very few customers in the beginning. Shug, whose nickname is the Queen Honeybee, comes down from Celie's house to check out the... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug prepares to sing one night, and Celie and Mr. ____ accompany her to the bar,... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug sings a few songs, much to Celie's delight. But Celie enjoys looking at Shug so... (full context)
Letter 34
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug begins growing stronger, and tells Celie it will soon be time for her to leave... (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
Shug asks why Mr. ____ beats Celie, and Celie explains that he's upset because Celie is... (full context)
Letter 35
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug begins staying in Mr. ____'s room, especially after she sings at Harpo's. Shug asks Celie... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug asks Celie if she has touched her own clitoris, or if she knows that doing... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Afterward, Celie repeats that she does not mind when Shug sleeps with Mr. ____. But Celie then admits, in the letter to God, that when... (full context)
Letter 39
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
At dinner later, Mr. ____, Celie, Shug, Odessa, Buster, and the rest of the family think of how to get Sofia out... (full context)
Letter 40
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug, Mr. ____, and Celie dress Squeak up to resemble a white woman, applying extra make-up... (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
...a bit of "Uncle Tomming," or behaving in a servile fashion to white authority, but Shug jokes to the family that, after all, the warden is actually Squeak's uncle to begin... (full context)
Letter 45
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
One day Shug sends a letter to Mr. ____, saying she is returning to his home, and that... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug shows Mr. ____ a car that she has purchased, which is hers and Grady's. Although... (full context)
Letter 46
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Mr. ____ and Grady spend the Christmas holiday drinking, and Shug and Celie catch up and talk. Shug has become incredibly successful, singing all over the... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug asks whether Mr. ____ still beats Celie. Celie replies that Mr. ____ is kinder to... (full context)
Letter 47
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
One day Mr. ____ and Grady go off together, and Celie and Shug talk again. Shug asks Celie about the father of Celie's children. Celie answers by telling... (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
...feelings, about which she rarely speaks, having come back to her during the conversation with Shug. Celie then talks briefly, about her mother's death, her sister Nettie's departure, and her terrible... (full context)
Letter 48
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Grady and Mr. ____ return, and Mr. ____ tells Shug to leave the bed she's sharing with Celie (they have finished making love), so he... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Harpo doesn't like the idea of Squeak singing, but Shug tells him it will be OK—she'll look after Squeak—and that Squeak's performances will bring in... (full context)
Letter 49
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
Shug reports to Celie that she has seen Mr. ____ at the mailbox, taking letters with... (full context)
Letter 50
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
Shug and Mr. ____ become physically intimate again, and Grady and Celie are upset—since they both... (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
...that she picks up a razor and considers slitting Mr. ____'s throat with it, but Shug, seeing what Celie is considering doing, takes the dull razor out of Celie's hands, averting... (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
Shug lies with Celie in Celie's room one night, and tries to talk with her, while... (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
Shug continues telling of her romance with Mr. ____. Mr. ____ eventually married Annie Julia, his... (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
Shug says that, first, when she came to Celie's house, she wanted only to come between... (full context)
Letter 51
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug and Celie realize that Mr. ____ keeps the letters from Nettie in a trunk in... (full context)
Letter 59
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...these letters from Nettie—and puzzling over the words in them she does not understand—Celie tells Shug that she again wishes to kill Mr. ____, for hiding the letters away from Celie... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie says, by way of bargaining, that she won't kill Mr. ____ if Shug can convince Mr. ____ that Shug should sleep in Celie's room from now on. Shug... (full context)
Letter 60
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie is still angry with Mr. ____, and this dampens her sexual desires for Shug. Shug suggests that Celie needs an outlet for her aggressions. She suggests that Celie ought... (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
Celie opens another letter from Nettie; Celie and Shug have stolen all the trunk's letters, hiding them in their own room, and replacing them,... (full context)
Letter 68
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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...born of incest, and that her biological father is in fact dead. She adds that Shug says she is going to take Celie to Tennessee with her—that she loves her and... (full context)
Letter 69
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
Shug and Celie drive to Pa's house, which is a now a large white structure, on... (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
Celie tells Pa, in front of Daisy and Shug, that she knows he is their stepfather. Pa pretends, for Daisy's benefit, that he took... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Suffering Theme Icon
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...does not know, since a lynched man gets no head-stone in the South. Celie and Shug leave the house and look for the graves in the cemetery anyway. Not finding them,... (full context)
Letter 73
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie tells Shug that she no longer writes to God—she writes to Nettie. This letter is addressed to... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Celie and Shug have a discussion about religion, after Celie decides to stop writing to God. Shug says... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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Shug asks Celie what her God looks like, and Celie replies that her God is a... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
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Shug goes on to say that God is inside her and all around, and that she,... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
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...teaching. Celie says she is doing her best to be spiritual in this new way, Shug's way. (full context)
Letter 74
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After dinner one night, Shug announces that she and Celie are leaving for Memphis, along with Grady, who is still... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug announces that Squeak, too, will be going with them to Memphis, in order to try... (full context)
Letter 75
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...that Grady is falling for Squeak, as they prepare (Grady and Squeak, and Celie and Shug) to leave for Memphis. Mr. ____ tries, halfheartedly, to make Celie stay, saying that she... (full context)
Letter 76
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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Celie loves Shug's house in Memphis, which is large and pink, and built on a circular floor plan.... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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When Shug is home, she cooks large meals for Celie and Grady and Squeak, but when Shug... (full context)
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Shug encourages Celie to make more pants and to start a small business selling these pants.... (full context)
Letter 78
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
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...Grady and Squeak have been smoking large amounts of marijuana together, which Grady grows behind Shug's house. Celie has brought some with her, and the four of them smoke it. Celie... (full context)
Letter 82
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...store are now Celie's property. At first Celie claims she does not want them, but Shug convinces her to take them over. When they return to the house, she and Shug... (full context)
Letter 83
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Celie writes again to Nettie, saying that Shug has run off with someone else—a very young man named Germaine. Celie also reports that... (full context)
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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Celie tells Nettie how Shug described Germaine to her, and asked Celie to understand that her fling with Germaine is... (full context)
Letter 84
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Shug leaves Memphis with Germaine, and Celie returns to her new home in Georgia. There she... (full context)
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Mr. ____ and Celie have a conversation about Shug's departure and about Celie's pant business. Celie tells Mr. ____ that she started making pants... (full context)
Letter 87
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...comes from Mr. ____'s trunk, and is therefore not recent.) Sometimes Celie receives postcards from Shug, with information about Germaine, but this upsets Celie, and she wonders how Shug ever found... (full context)
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...Celie feels that she does not hate Mr. ____ (whom she now calls Albert), since Shug loves him still, and since he still loves Shug. Celie tells Albert that her children... (full context)
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Shug writes to Celie and says that she lives in Arizona, now, with Germaine, who teaches... (full context)
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Celie and Albert talk more about Shug, each discussing how much they've loved her, and how they've now spent a good part... (full context)
Letter 89
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...suffering he has caused Celie and others, yet he also sees how much love surrounds him—Shug's, Celie's now, and Sofia's, and the children's. Albert believes it is his religious duty, while... (full context)
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Shug returns, saying that Germaine has left her to go to college. Celie shows Shug her... (full context)