The Color Purple

by Alice Walker (a summary by Pat Evert)


Lord don’t like ugly. And he ain’t stuck on pretty. One good thing about he never do no work around the place, we won’t miss him when he gone. You sure is ugly. Nobody fight for Shug, he say. And a little water come to his eyes. Everything I do to you is fine and dandy, Miss Celie, she say. But that’s cause you ain’t got good sense. He don’t want a wife, he want a dog. The worst part is I don’t think he notice. He git up there and enjoy hiself the same. No matter what I am thinking, no matter what I feel. It just him, heart feeling don’t seem to enter into it. She snort. The fact he can do it like that, make me want to kill him. Today the people of Africa – having murdered or sold into slavery – their strongest folks are riddled in disease and sunk into spiritual and physical confusion. They believe in the devil and worship the dead. Nor can they read or write. Because the black is so black, the eye is simply dazzled. And then there is the shining that seems to come, really, from moonlight it is so luminous, but their skin glows even in the sun. Oh Celie, unbelief is such a terrible thing, and so is the hurt we cause others unknowingly. Us feel worried bout God a lot, but once we feel loved by God, us do the best we can with what us like.

She say Celie, tell the truth, did you ever find God in church? I never did. I just found a lot of folks hoping that God would show. Any God I felt in church I brought in with me, and I think many other folks did the same. They come to church to share God, not to find him. I don’t need to ask Sophie, I know white people don’t listen to colored, period. If they do, they only listen long enough to be able to tell you what to do. The thing I believe. God is inside you, and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God, but only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even when you not looking or don’t know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, Lord. Feeling like shit. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love, and a mess of stuff you don’t. But more than anything else, God love admiration. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, he all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. And as soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain’t. And every time you try to pray and he plop hiself down on the other side, yout tell him to git. Sometimes I feel like our position is like that of flies on an elephant’s hide. The Africans never asked us to come, you know. There’s no need blaming them if we feel unwelcome. We love them. We try every way to show them that love. But they reject us. They never even listen to how we’ve suffered. Just cause I love her don’t take away none of her rights. Hard not to love Shug, I say. She know how to love somebody back.