The Color Purple

The Color Purple

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The Color Purple Letter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Sofia decides to take a few of her older children (these children are not named) to stay with her sister Odessa for a while. Celie asks Harpo whether he wants to stop Sofia, but he says there's nothing he can do. Sofia's strong, tall sisters help her move some of her things out of the shack while Celie and Harpo look on. Harpo will stay in the shack and look after the unnamed younger children.
Sofia's sisters are also large, physically imposing, and powerful inside the home. Odessa and Jack, whose relationship is only briefly mentioned in the novel, seem to understand each other more or less as equals, and it is this kind of freedom and equality to which Sofia aspires in her marriage to Harpo.
Themes
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Harpo quickly changes the diaper of one of the children, who has wet herself. He then hands the child to Sofia (this is the last child Sofia will take with her), as she quickly says goodbye to him and to Celie. Sofia mounts up on a wagon with her sisters and the children, and drives away.
Sofia spends a good part of the novel away from home—first, here, when she leaves Harpo, and next when she is placed in prison, and forced to work as a live-in maid in the house of the mayor and his children.
Themes
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon