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The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

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Letters 45–48: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What does Mr.____ think the surprise will be?

2. What doesn’t Celie like about Grady at their first meeting?

3. How did Shug and Grady meet?

4. What would Shug do if she were Celie’s husband?

5. Why does Shug ask Celie if they could sleep together?

6. What are the “freakish things” that Shug thought was only done by “white folks”?

7. What does sleeping with Shug feel like to Celie?

8. How does Grady spend Shug’s money, according to Celie?

9. Where is Grady from?

10. What does Shug mean when she tells Harpo that his nightclub singer “can’t get her ass out the church”?

1. Mr.____ thinks that Shug bought him a new car.

2. Celie doesn’t like Grady’s shape, teeth, clothes, or his smell.

3. Grady was the mechanic who fixed Shug’s new car.

4. Shug would work hard for Celie and “cover [her] up with kisses stead of licks” if she were her husband.

5. Mr.____ and Grady go out for a night on the town, and Shug doesn’t like to sleep alone.

6. Celie’s father had raped her while she was cutting his hair, and soon he wants her to cut his hair every time he has sex with her. Shug believed that only “white folks” could be so perverted.

7. Celie tries to compare sleeping with Shug to sleeping with Nettie and her mother, but it feels too different. She decides that it feels “like heaven...not like sleeping with Mr.____ at all.”

8. Celie thinks that Grady spends Shug’s money as if he made it himself.

9. Grady is from Memphis, Tennessee.

10. The singer’s voice sounds like a woman in a choir, but Shug thinks that good music is “devil’s music.” Shug likes Squeak’s singing because when people hear her singing, “folks git to thinking bout a good screw.”

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