My English Assignments

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The Color Purple
Study Questions

Assignment 1
Entries 1-21
1. To whom does Celie address her letters?
2. What does Celie's father mean when he says, "You gonna do what your mammy wouldn't"?
3. What does Celie mean when she says she's "big"?
4. How many times has Celie given birth? Who is the father? 5. What does Celie believe has happened to her babies?
6. Who is Mr. ___?
7. Celie's father refuses to let Nettie marry Mr. ___ but says he can marry Celie. How does Celie's father describe her to Mr. _______?
8. Why do both Nettie and Celie work so hard to become educated? 9. What does Celie discover about her daughter? How does she make this discovery? 10. When Mr. ___ tells Celie that Nettie must leave their house, what does Celie give to Nettie? What does Nettie promise Celie she will do?

11. Who is Shug Avery?
12. Who is Sofia, and for what reason does she get pregnant? 13. Harpo's father and Celie advise Harpo to beat his wife. What happens when he does this? 14. Why is Celie jealous of Sofia?

Assignment 2
Entries 22-35
1. How does Shug end up staying with Mr. ________ and Sofia? 2. When does Celie realize her husband's first name is Albert? 3. How many children do Shug and Albert have together? Where are their children? 4. What causes Mr. ______ and Celie to feel close to each other when Mr. _______'s father comes to visit?

5. Why does Celie cherish the quilt she and Sofia are making? 6. What strange habit does Harpo suddenly develop?
7. Why does Sofia leave Harpo? Where does she go?
8. What kind of a business does Harpo start, and where does he open it? 9. Shug sings a song for Celie. What is the song about?
10. Celie tells Shug that Mr. ___ will beat her when she is gone. When Shug asks why, what is Celie's response?
11. Shug asks Celie if it bothers her when Albert and Shug sleep together. Celie tells her she doesn't mind. What are Celie's true feelings toward Shug?

Assignment 3
Entries 36-48
1. What does Mr. ___ tell Sofia about his children?
2. Who is Squeak, and how did she lose two of her teeth?
3. Why is Sofia in jail?
4. What is Sofia's job in jail? What is her attitude and mental state? 5. Who takes care of Sofia's children while she is in jail?
6. What is the plan for getting Sofia out of jail?
7. Why is Squeak sent to talk to the warden? What happens while Squeak is with him? 8. For whom does Sofia work when she is released from jail?
9. When Sofia finally gets to see her family after five years, how long does she get to visit with them? Why?
10. What about Shug's Christmas visit surprises Albert and Celie? 11. What happens between Shug and Celie when Albert and Grady take the car for a long drive?
12. What does Shug want Mary Agnes to do?

Assignment 4
Entries 49-60
1. What does Shug discover that Albert has been keeping from Celie? 2. What does Celie want to do when she discovers Mr.________ has been keeping her letters from Nettie all these years?
3. Why didn't Albert marry Shug after she had his three children? 4. How do Celie and Shug get the rest of Nettie's letters without Albert's realizing they have them?
5. Why did Albert keep Nettie's letters from Celie?
6. According to her letter, with whom does Nettie live?
7. Where does Nettie go with the Reverend and his family? Why? 8. Nettie thanks her old school teacher for something. What? 9. What does Celie discover about the two children she had with her father? 10. Why is Nettie so certain that their missionary work will be successful? 11. What surprises Nettie about slavery?

12. Why does Shug suggest making pants for Celie?

Assignment 5
Entries 61-68
1. How do the Olinka people first react to Nettie and the other missionaries? 2. What special gift did the Olinka people give to the missionaries at the end of the welcoming ceremony?
3. Why are the Olinka people confused about the relationships among the missionary family?
4. Why does Corrine ask Nettie to stop wearing her clothes and to start...
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