The Color Purple

The Color Purple

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The Color Purple Letter 23 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In her sickness, Shug lies in bed in Mr. ____'s house and lashes out at him, calling him a "boy" and not a "man." Mr. ____ worries about Shug's illness, even though she appears to be getting better, and keeps his pipe, without tobacco, in his mouth all day. He sits in Shug's room and refuses the food Celie prepares for him.
Shug is one of the few characters in the novel unafraid of taking Mr. ____ to task, and of exposing his laziness and his dependence on other women. Celie will develop this same sort of strength later in the novel, mostly through Shug's influence.
Themes
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
When Celie talks to Mr. ____ about Shug, he says it's OK by him if Celie wants Shug to leave, even though he, of course, wants Shug to stay. But Celie says she, too, wants Shug to stay, and she watches as Mr. ____ struggles to hold back anxious tears, as he continues to worry about Shug. Shug refers to Mr. ____ as Albert, which is his given name.
Celie only finds out at this point in the novel that Mr. ____'s first name is Albert. Celie will only call him by his first name later in the novel, when Mr. ____ is no longer her boss and taskmaster, but rather has become a true friend and confidant.
Themes
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon