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 64–69 Summary

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Last Updated on February 17, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 727

Nettie resumes her story after a five-year interval, during which Tashi's father passed away during the previous year's rainy season. Despite the loss, Tashi's mother Catherine is determined to keep her daughter's education going. Over time, Tashi develops into an excellent storyteller and shows emotional distress upon hearing about the subject of slavery, a topic that her fellow villagers choose to ignore. Gradually, other women in the village start to send their daughters to school as well, although the men are initially hesitant to accept this change.

Corrine advises Nettie to avoid visiting their hut when Samuel is there by himself. Nettie expresses her dissatisfaction, noting that Corrine rarely visits her, and that she will be left with no one to talk to, just as friends. Corrine is concerned that other villagers may misinterpret Nettie's visits, despite the fact that most of the villagers are preoccupied with the construction of the nearby road.

As the village draws closer to the road, the Olinka tribe is pleased that a convenient route to the coast will be available. Nettie anticipates an enjoyable celebration and barbecue once the road reaches the town. In the following letter, written a year later, Nettie reports unsettling news that the road was intended to pass through the village, rather than leading to it.

When the leader of the Olinka community journeys to the coast, he finds out that there are numerous other African people who have been forced to leave their homes, and also discovers that a British rubber company has purchased the entire region. As a result, the Olinka people are now obligated to pay a fee for accessing their own water and rent for their own village. Initially, the tribe laughs about the situation, but soon realizes that it is a serious matter.

Corrine becomes afflicted with African fever and, as her condition worsens, she develops increasing jealousy and animosity towards Nettie. She holds the belief that Nettie is the biological mother of Adam and Olivia, and that she conceived them with Samuel while they were in America. Although Nettie and Samuel vehemently deny these allegations and swear an oath on the Bible, Corrine remains unconvinced. Eventually, Samuel confides in Nettie that he initially took her in because he too suspected that she was the children's mother. Upon learning this, Nettie requests that Samuel disclose the details of how they came to find the children.

Samuel narrates the following account to her. His old acquaintance, a rogue, brought him some children and claimed that they were his late wife's only children. The said acquaintance had married his wife while she was still weak from the trauma of her first husband's lynching. She already had two children from her first marriage, namely Celie and Nettie. When Samuel first laid eyes on Nettie, she bore such a striking resemblance to the children that he suspected his friend of lying and fathering the children with her. Nettie later discovers that the scoundrel who brought the children to Samuel was Alphonso, the man she and Celie had thought was their father. Their actual father had passed away before they were old enough to know him.

After reading the letter, Celie is deeply surprised as she discovers that the man she thought was her father is not actually her biological father, and this realization shatters her previous beliefs about herself. In shock, she exclaims to God that he must not be paying attention. Shug then offers her an invitation to come to Memphis with her and Grady.

Celie has a strong desire to reunite with her supposed father and decides...

(This entire section contains 727 words.)

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to accompany Shug on a trip to meet him. Upon their arrival, Celie discovers that he has a new wife and additional children. She informs him about Nettie and the knowledge she possesses, but he shows little interest. He explains that Celie's biological father was killed due to his inability to get along with white people. Although he senses that Shug is aware of the mistreatment he inflicted upon Celie, he appears to be indifferent to her feelings.

Celie inquires about the location of her parents' burial site, but Alphonso informs her that they were buried in an unmarked grave without a tombstone. Since there is no visible indication of their final resting place, Shug kisses Celie and reassures her that they are now each other's family.


Letters 61-63 Summary


Letters 70–73 Summary