The Color Purple Letters 49–51: Questions and Answers

Alice Walker

Letters 49–51: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What do stamps look like, according to Celie?

2. What does Nettie’s letter look like?

3. How does Shug cover for Celie’s theft of Mr.____’s razor?

4. What is Shug’s real name, and why is she called Shug?

5. Describe Shug’s relationship with her parents.

6. What did Shug’s sister do for a living?

7. List the things Albert used to do when he went out with Shug.

8. How does Shug describe Annie Julia?

9. Why did Shug want Albert to choose her?

10. What does Shug mean when she says “what was good tween us must have been nothing but bodies?”

Answers
1. Celie thinks that all stamps look the same, with “white men with long hair” on them.

2. Nettie’s letter, according to Celie, has “little fat queen of England stamps on it, plus stamps that got peanuts, coconuts, rubber trees and say Africa” on it.

3. Shug takes the razor from Celie’s hand and thanks her for getting something to take care of her hangnail. Then she puts the razor back in the shaving box.

4. Shug’s real name is Lillie, but everyone called her Shug because she was “just so sweet.”

5. Her mother did not like physical contact with her children, and would always push Shug away if she tried to kiss her. Although her father liked to hold her, Shug’s mother kept that from happening. Shug admits that she was happy to find Albert so that she could have somebody to hold.

6. Shug’s sister worked in a roadhouse as a cook.

7. There are two things that Shug remembers about Albert when he was young. He used to dance all the time, sometimes for an hour. He always used to make Shug laugh.

8. Annie Julia was a beautiful girl, with “big black eyes look like moons.” Shug also says that she was “black as anything, and skin just as smooth.”

9. Shug felt the need for Albert to choose her because she felt that “nature had already done it.”

10. Shug means that it felt so nice physically that she must not have paid attention to his character. She can hardly believe that she went out with and loved such a cruel man.