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 82–85 Summary

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Last Updated May 5, 2023.

Daisy calls Celie to let her know that her stepfather, Alphonso, has passed away. Initially, Celie is not emotionally affected by this news, but her attitude changes when she discovers that both she and Nettie have inherited Alphonso's house and dry goods store. Although Celie considers giving up the property, Shug proposes a different solution. They visit the house with cedar sticks and use smoke to purify the space and rid it of negative energy. Their goal is to create a welcoming environment for positive energy. As a result, Celie now has a new store where she can sell pants.

Regrettably, as she improves her house, she receives a constant stream of unpleasant news. Shug informs her that she met a young man called Germaine one night and plans to travel with him. Celie is stunned and skeptical, telling Shug that her words could be fatal. Nevertheless, Shug persists, explaining that she feels old and desires the company of a man once again. She begs Celie to allow her a six-month period for her "final fling."

During Shug's absence, Celie assists Sofia in attempting to heal Henrietta. Celie recalls a letter from Nettie that recommended yams as a remedy, but Henrietta declines to consume them due to the taste. Mr.____ devises some recipes that effectively mask the flavor of yams and impresses Celie with the tidiness of his home, which is now cleaner than ever before.

Celie realizes that Mr.____ has changed his behavior when he hands her a letter, but the contents of the letter turn out to be a telegram informing her that Nettie and Samuel's ship has sunk near Gibraltar. Celie tries to continue with her sewing, but the devastating news makes her feel like simply being alive is an overwhelming burden.

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Letters 80–81 Summary


Letters 86–87 Summary