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The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

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Letters 37-41: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. How does Harpo mope?

2. What does Miss Millie always do, according to her husband?

3. What does Buster do while Sofia is getting beaten?

4. When the sheriff says that Sofia is crazy, how does Mr.____ reply?

5. How badly is Sofia injured from her beating by the police?

6. Who takes care of Sofia’s children while Sofia is in jail?

7. How often is Sofia visited by her friends?

8. What does Squeak remember about her uncle?

9. What is the warden’s justification for what he does to Squeak?

10. What does Mary Agnes mean when she asks Harpo if he loves her or her color?

1. Harpo is quiet and spends most of his time walking up and down the aisle in his club. He also totally ignores Squeak despite her best efforts to get him to say something.

2. The mayor says that Miss Millie is “always going on over colored” children.

3. Sofia keeps Buster from joining in the fight and tells him to look after the children. She knows that with six armed policemen around them, Buster would have been shot if he had tried to make any aggressive move.

4. Mr.____ tells the sheriff that he had tried to tell his son for 12 years that Sofia was crazy. He doesn’t really believe this now, but he is trying to keep on friendly terms with the sheriff in case something can be done for Sofia.

5. Sofia’s skull and ribs are cracked, and one eye has been blinded. Her nose has also been torn, and her entire body is swollen.

6. Odessa and Squeak take care of Sofia’s children.

7. Sofia gets visitors two times a month for half an hour.

8. A few years ago, her uncle gave Squeak and her siblings each a quarter.

9. The warden says that if he is really Squeak’s uncle, what he is doing would be a sin, but “everybody guilty...of a little fornication.”

10. Squeak wants Harpo to know that she is a woman with a strong character, and that if he only loves her superficially, because of her appearance, then he can leave right now. Mary Agnes insists that Harpo respect the person on the inside.

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