Free Study Guide for The Color Purple by Alice Walker Free Book Summary|
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Shug sings a song called "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and talks about her friend Bessie Smith. Celie admires her beautiful black skin against her tight fitting red dress. She also sees that Shug looks at Albert occasionally as she sings, and Celie notices that it makes him look "puffed up," even though he is a little man. She wishes Shug would look at her instead of Albert. Celie suddenly feels tears in her eyes, even though she understands this is the way it is supposed to be. Then, Shug announces Celie's name and says that the next song is called "Miss Celie's Song," because Celie "scratched it out of my head when I was sick." The song is about a man doing her wrong, but Celie just listens to the tune, proud to have a song named after her.
This letter reveals an awakening within Celie. For the first time since Nettie left, she actually feels loved and valued by someone. First, Shug stands up to Albert for her sake, insisting that Celie be allowed to come to the juke joint to hear her sing. Shug then dedicates a song to Celie, affirming her importance and raising her self-esteem. The chapter also sheds a new light on Shug. It becomes more apparent that she truly cares for Albert, as the watches him as she sings. She also shows her appreciation for the fact that Celie has nursed her back to health, allowing her to sing again.
Shug sings every weekend at the juke joint, always bringing in customers; but she is growing restless. Finally, she tells Celie she must leave at the beginning of the next month. Celie feels as pained as when Nettie left. She tells Shug that Albert beats her when Shug is not there. Shug hugs her and later kisses her. She says she will stay until she is confident that Albert will not abuse Celie anymore.
This chapter reveals a major breakthrough for Celie. She actually speaks up for herself and reveals that she will be beaten by Albert if Shug leaves. She has begun to value herself as a person and realizes that the patriarchal abuse she receives is wrong. She also displays, through her confession to Shug that she has established trust with someone for the first time since Nettie left. Shug again shows her positive side. Indebted to Celie for helping her in a time of need, she now promises to protect Celie from Albert's beatings. Even though she is ready to move on from the farm, Shug will stay until she is certain that Albert will not abuse her friend. The chapter clearly establishes a reciprocal love between Shug and Celie.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on The Color Purple".
. 09 May 2017