The Color Purple

The Color Purple

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The Color Purple Letter 35 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Shug begins staying in Mr. ____'s room, especially after she sings at Harpo's. Shug asks Celie whether Celie minds that she has sex with Mr. ____, and Celie says she doesn't mind it at all, since Celie's own sex with Mr. ____ is not very important to her. Shug announces that she has a "passion" for Mr. ____, but does not really love him. She says she loves having sex with Mr. ____, and asks Celie if she feels the same way, but Celie says she has no opinion about their married love life, which Mr. ____ directs only toward his own pleasure.
Another scene in which Shug attempts to explain to Celie exactly what sexual pleasure is like. Although Celie has been sexually active since a young age, she has never been permitted to discover her own sexually, nor to indulge her own desires. Celie's sexuality, up until this point in the novel, has been reserved entirely as a service to the powerful men in her life.
Themes
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 so will cause her to have an orgasm. Celie doesn't know what Shug is talking about. She and Shug go into a bedroom with a mirror, and Shug shows Celie how to masturbate. Celie touches herself and feels a small jolt of excitement.
Again, it seems hard to believe, but Celie has had so little opportunity to think of herself sexually, she has not had an orgasm in her entire life. Shug helps her to remedy this situation.
Themes
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 she hears Shug and Mr. ____ having sex, she touches herself quietly, in her own room, and cries.
A sad scene in the novel. Celie has said that she does not mind when Shug makes love to Mr. ____, but she does—not because Shug becomes her and Mr. ____, but because he comes between her and Shug.
Themes
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon