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The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

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Letters 61-63: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What does Celie learn about the weather in Africa?

2. Describe Joseph, the guide and translator.

3. What does Nettie notice about the Africans’ teeth?

4. How does Nettie describe the jungle?

5. What happened to the white missionary who was at the Olinka village?

6. What food is served at the welcoming ceremony?

7. Describe Nettie’s daily routine.

8. How is Olivia treated at school?

9. What does Tashi’s father want Nettie to do?

10. Why does the way Olinka men speak to women remind Nettie of Pa?

1. Celie learns that it is “hot like cooking dinner on a big stove in a little kitchen in August and July” in Africa.

2. Joseph is short, fat, and soft, “with hands that seem not to have any bones in them.” He is also “a deep chocolate brown.”

3. Nettie is surprised that the Africans all have perfect, white teeth.

4. Nettie says the jungle is “trees and trees and then more trees on top of that. And vines. And ferns. And little animals.”

5. The Olinka buried the last missionary one year ago.

6. They are given a chicken-and-peanut stew, which they eat with their fingers, and palm wine.

7. Nettie wakes up at five o’clock for a light breakfast and morning classes. They stop at eleven o’clock for lunch and household duties. From one to four o’clock it “is too hot to move,” and then she teaches adult classes at five o’clock.

8. She is the only girl at school, and only her brother, Adam, talks to her.

9. Tashi’s father wants Nettie to continue teaching, but only to the male children.

10. There is a total lack of interest in and respect for what Olinka women have to say. An Olinka woman cannot even look at a man’s face while talking. Nettie writes that the way Olinka women behave around men is “our own behavior around Pa.”

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