Mostly black and white illustration of nine letters, one of them has been opened

The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

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Letters 32–36 Summary

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Last Updated on February 17, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 463

Harpo has undergone a transformation within half a year since Sofia's departure. He has renovated his former home and established a jukejoint, which he co-owns with Swain. Unfortunately, the new establishment fails to attract any patrons. In a desperate attempt to draw customers, Harpo implores Shug to put on a show at his venue. Shug, who has made significant progress in her recovery, consents to Harpo's request, and the club quickly becomes packed with eager attendees anticipating her performance.

Celie is thrilled that she will finally get the chance to hear Shug perform. Although Mr.____ is against the idea, Shug insists that Celie be present. When they all sit together, Shug starts singing a song intended for Mr. ___ Celie becomes emotional and begins to cry, not understanding why. Eventually, she realizes that Shug loves Mr. ___ more than her. Suddenly, Shug yells Celie's name and announces that she has composed a new song, which she calls "Miss Celie's Song." This is the same melody that Shug was humming when Celie styled her hair. Celie hums along to the tune, saying that it's the "first time somebody made something and named it after me."

After recovering from her illness, Shug informs Celie that she will likely depart soon, but notices that Celie appears frightened. Celie confides in Shug that she anticipates Mr.____ will resume physically abusing her. Shug promises to stay until she is confident that Albert won't even consider harming Celie. Shug also questions Celie about her feelings towards her husband's sexual advances. Celie responds that she doesn't object because she never derives pleasure from sex with Mr.____. This revelation surprises Shug, who inquires whether Celie has ever viewed her own naked body.

Despite feeling ashamed, Celie is urged by Shug to take a look at herself in the mirror. Shug informs her that women have a sensitive area that becomes aroused during intimate moments. Curiously, Celie examines herself and touches the sensitive area, which causes a sensation she has never experienced before. But shortly after, she becomes upset upon hearing Shug and Mr.____ engaging in sexual activity in the adjacent room.

Sofia enters the club with her newfound acquaintance, a hefty man known as Buster, one evening. Upon spotting her friends, Sofia becomes elated, especially upon seeing Celie. However, Harpo, who has regained his weight, questions Sofia's presence there. Sofia clarifies that she simply wanted to listen to Shug's singing.

Harpo invites Sofia to dance, which angers his new girlfriend Squeak. Squeak becomes aggressive and tries to physically harm Sofia, resulting in her losing two teeth. Squeak demands that Harpo forces Sofia to leave, but Harpo is unable to make a decision and remains stuck in the middle. Eventually, Harpo tends to Squeak's injuries while Sofia and Buster leave and don't turn back.

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Letters 28–31 Summary


Letters 37–41 Summary