The Color Purple Letters 42–44: Questions and Answers

Alice Walker

Letters 42–44: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Who writes the songs that Mary Agnes sings?

2. Is Mary Agnes still mad that Sofia knocked out her teeth?

3. Why do Sofia’s children love Mary Agnes?

4. Why does Celie consider it impossible to “kill off” the whites?

5. Why does Miss Millie ask the mayor for a car?

6. How does the mayor get revenge for Millie’s insistence?

7. What does Miss Millie mean when she tells Sofia that “this is the South”?

8. How do all of Sofia’s children react when she shows up?

9. What does Miss Millie intend to do?

10. What actually happens that day with Sofia and Millie?

Answers
1. At first, Mary Agnes sings Shug’s songs, then she starts writing her own songs.

2. Mary Agnes is still mad, but she understands Sofia’s
situation.

3. Sofia’s children love Mary Agnes because she lets them do what they want, which is a big difference from the way Odessa or any other of Sofia’s sisters treat them.

4. Celie thinks that there are just “too many to kill off.”

5. Miss Millie feels that “if colored could have cars than one for her was past due.”

6. The mayor buys Millie a car but doesn’t teach her how to drive. Every night he rubs it in by asking his wife how she is “enjoying” her car, knowing she doesn’t have any friends to teach her.

7. Millie objects to Sofia sitting in the front seat with her, when in the South, one usually doesn’t see “a white person and a colored sitting side by side in a car, when one of them wasn’t showing the other one how to drive it or clean it.” Millie doesn’t want Sofia in a position of being an equal, now that she isn’t teaching her.

8. No one knew Sofia was coming, and only the two eldest children remember her and come up to hug her. Then all the little children start to hug her as well.

9. Miss Millie was going to leave Sofia at Odessa’s house and then return at five to pick her up.

10. Jack and Sofia have to drive Millie back to the mayor’s house in Jack’s pickup, and then Jack and Sofia drive into town to find a mechanic. Finally, Sofia drives Miss Millie’s car back to her house at five o’clock.