The Color Purple

The Color Purple

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The Color Purple Letter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Shug begins growing stronger, and tells Celie it will soon be time for her to leave their Mr. ____'s home. Shug is singing regularly on the weekends, now, at Harpo's bar. Celie grows distraught at this news, and tells Shug, finally, that Mr. ____ beats her when Shug is not around.
Although it is hard to believe, Shug is not aware of the extent to which Mr. ____ mistreats Celie. Perhaps this is because Shug is so powerful and free-spirited, she simply did not allow Mr. ____ to beat her or mistreat her, and so cannot imagine someone else being treated that way.
Themes
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug asks why Mr. ____ beats Celie, and Celie explains that he's upset because Celie is Celie, and not Shug. He is upset that he is married to an unattractive woman, rather than a beautiful, and locally-famous, singer. Shug holds Celie and promises not to leave her until Mr. ____ agrees to stop beating her.
Celie recognizes what others in the novel cannot: that Mr. ____ is, in fact, a frustrated and lonely man, who has not been permitted to marry the woman he loves (Shug). It is hard to believe that Celie can feel any sympathy for Mr. ____, but she does, and this sympathy grows stronger when the two become friends, at the novel's end.
Themes
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