Mr. ____ asks for Nettie's hand in marriage, but Celie's father refuses, saying that Mr. ____ is surrounded by scandal, since he's a widower because not long before his wife was murdered by her lover. Also, Mr. ____ is dogged by rumors that he continues a romantic relationship with a woman named Shug Avery.
The first mention of Shug Avery, a romantic interest to Mr. ____ and to Celie in the novel, and one of the book's freest spirits. Members of the community have difficulty accepting Shug's libertine ways—at this point in the novel, the sexual revolution is approximately 30 to 40 years in the future.
Celie asks her stepmother who Shug Avery is. Her stepmother gets a picture of Shug, which Celie finds entrancing. Celie sleeps with the picture and dreams about Shug.
Celie's attraction to Shug begins very early. At first, Celie finds even the idea of Shug—and the picture she keeps—entrancing. Celie does not understand the nature of her attraction to Shug—that it is, fundamentally, a loving and romantic attraction.