Free Study Guide for The Color Purple by Alice Walker Free Book Summary|
Downloadable / Printable Version
Celie says that the only thing she wants from Fonso is to know where her real Pa is buried. He tells her that he is next to her mother, but neither have markers. Shug and Celie go to the cemetery and cannot find the graves. They pick up a horseshoe and both hold onto it as they spin in circles. Where they stop, they plant the horseshoe. Shug tells Celie, "Us each other's peoples now." Then she kisses her.
Celie now addresses her letter to Nettie instead of God, with whom she is disillusioned. She also shows a newfound strength when she confronts Fonso, her stepfather, about the truth; it is a positive sign that she is beyond her submissive, passive state. It is also significant that this new Celie comes to life in the spring; the flowers and trees are blossoming, just as Celie is. In keeping with the spring and Celie's new sense of self, Shug and Celie have dressed in flowery pants, similar in style but different colors. The similarity represents the bond between the two women, which they now feel comfortable displaying; the wearing of pants indicate that they are independent.
In most ways, Fonso has changed little. He is still interested in young women, using them and then abandoning them; it is obvious that he still operates under the patriarchal system. Additionally, he still has no sensitivity. He is not the least bit remorseful about Celie's parents, about what he has done to Celie, or that he is never told either of his daughters the truth about being their stepfather.
There are some new things revealed about Fonso. He has successfully run the store that belonged to Celie's father; he has literally seized the store, which rightfully belongs to Nettie and Celie. Because of the business, he now lives in a nice two-story house and drives a motorcar. He is, however, seen almost as an "Uncle Tom" figure, a black who panders to Whites. In order to have a profitable business, he will do anything for them. He even denounces Celie's father for not previously catering to white people in the store.
With Nettie in Africa and her parents buried in unmarked graves that she cannot find, Celie feels abandoned by her family. Shug, however, provides a new type of relationship for her, being a friend, confidante, teacher, encourager, and lover. They become symbolic family in a playful ceremony with the horseshoe, staking their claim in each other.
Nettie writes to Celie about Corrine's failing condition. She also reveals that she has finally told her and Samuel the truth about Olivia and Adam. Corrine does not believe the story. Nettie tries to get Corrine to remember the day she met Celie at the store when buying fabric for dresses, but Corrine cannot remember. Nettie closes the letter by asking Celie to pray for them.
When Nettie finally brings herself to tell the truth about Adam and Olivia, Corrine refuses to believe her. Instead, she still believes that Nettie is a cunning woman who is trying to hide her relationship with Samuel. Nettie pities the poor woman and attributes Corrine's failing health to her lack of trust in the ones who have loved her. It is obvious that Corinne is a weak, paraoid character.
Nettie writes to Celie that she has persisted in trying to get Corrine to remember the encounter at the store that day. Finally, she goes through Corrine's quilts, looking for old fabric that Corrine might have purchased in the store. Corrine sees the correct fabric, recalls Celie, and begins to cry. She remembers how much Olivia looked like the women in the store, which scared her; she was afraid Celie would want her daughter back.
Nettie assures Corrine that Celie was happy to see that Olivia was being well cared for; she had thought her children were dead. Nettie also tells Samuel that Fonso is the father of Olivia and Adam; he is shocked by the news.
In the middle of the night, Corinne wakes up and tells Samuel, "I believe." Then, she dies.
Nettie persists in trying to make Corrine see the truth about Olivia and Adam; with Christian concern, Nettie wants her to die in peace, knowing that Samuel has been faithful to her. Finally, it is a quilt that Nettie finds that makes Corrine remember her encounter with Celie. She admits that she had been afraid of the woman in the fabric store, for she knew Olivia looked just like her. She feared Celie would want her children back. Once again the quilt is used as a symbol for tying together disparate lives and uniting women.
All Content Copyright©TheBestNotes. All Rights Reserved.
No further distribution without written consent.
153 Users Online | This page has been viewed 1356 times
This page was last updated on 5/9/2017 8:50:11 AM
Cite this page:
TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on The Color Purple".
. 09 May 2017