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The Color Purple

By | April 2002
Page 1 of 2
The story really begins in about 1903 with the killing of Celie's father by jealous white guys. Celie's mother goes insane but marries a man who is just using her. When Celie is 14 this stepfather, who she thinks is her dad, begins to rape her, causing the birth of two children which he gives away to a missionary friend of his. Celie's mother dies angry at Celie and, because she's been warned by her stepfather not to tell anyone (but God) who fathered her children, Celie writes letters to God. Later, when her younger sister, Nettie, runs away from home, she comes to the house Celie shares with Mr. ______, her abusive husband who was going to marry Nettie but her stepfather said no, who married Celie so that she could look after his kids from his first marrage. Because Nettie rejects him, he kicks her out of his house and Celie sends her to the same missionaries (Samuel and Corrine) who have unknowingly adopted her children, Olivia and Adam. Nettie goes with them to Africa as a missionary, where she stays for thirty years, faithfully writing letters to Celie, never knowing if she's receiving them.

After years of abuse, Celie begins to become more optimistic when Shug Avery, a blues singer and old lover of Mr. _______'s, is brought home by him because she's sick, so that Celie can nurse her. Celie and Shug fall in love, and Celie leaves Mr. _______ to go with Shug to Memphis. Here, Shug makes a good living singing and Celie starts designing and sewing pants for Shug, this hobby finally spawning a business.

Then, Celie finds out that Mr. _______ had hidden all the letters Nettie had written to Celie over the years. In the letters, which she finally gets to read, Nettie's life is revealed. She and Celie's children, Samuel and Corrine live with the Olinka in a small village in West Africa. They all teach and nurse and Samuel preaches. Corrine lets her thoughts about how strong the resemblance between her adopted children and Nettie fester...
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