The Color Purple

The Color Purple

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The Color Purple Letter 76 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Celie loves Shug's house in Memphis, which is large and pink, and built on a circular floor plan. Sometimes, when she and Shug have time, they imagine the dream home they would love to build, and draw pictures of it late into the evening.
A large pink circular house is deeply symbolic. The pink implies that this is a home run by women, as opposed to every other house in the novel. Its circularity implies a kind of equality among its members, as opposed to hierarchy so rigidly imposed by men.
Themes
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
When Shug is home, she cooks large meals for Celie and Grady and Squeak, but when Shug is on the road she works hard, sings a lot, and eats unhealthy meals. During these tours, Celie begins making pants in Shug's house—all sorts of pants, of many shapes, sizes, and types of fabric. Celie finds the making of pants to be therapeutic, and a creative outlet she has long been looking for.
Interestingly, both Shug and Celie participate in parts of the typically "feminine" economy (housekeeping, cooking, making pants), but these chores are part of a new system run by and for women. Also note how Celie turns her domestic chore into a moneymaking business, and in so doing can express herself creatively and begin to build financial independence.
Themes
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Shug encourages Celie to make more pants and to start a small business selling these pants. For the first time, Celie has a job where she is working for herself, doing what she wants, and making a small but substantial amount of money. The making of these pants causes Celie to feel an enormous amount of happiness, which is only multiplied by the love she feels for Shug.
Celie's success in her personal and business life is mirrored by a feeling of total acceptance on Shug's part. Celie feels, for the first time, that she is in a loving relationship that recognizes her importance as a person. This relationship will not be perfect, but it will persist, in some form, for the rest of the novel.
Themes
God and Spirituality Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Discovery Theme Icon