Mr. ____ stops working in the fields altogether. He sits on the porch and tells Celie and Harpo that they must work in the fields and continue the plowing he has stopped doing. Harpo tries to fight his father's demands, but though he is physically strong he is, according to Celie, "weak in will." Harpo does not stand up to Mr. ____. Celie believes that Mr. ____ has stopped working because he is still in love with Shug, and upset that their brief time together is over.
Although Mr. ____ was hardly a hard worker before Shug's visit, he is now even less inclined to help Celie in the fields. In this way, he can punish Celie for, in effect, not being Shug. Celie understands this implicitly, and later tells Shug this is the reason why Mr. ____ beats her—because Celie is not Shug.