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The Color Purple

The Color Purple


by Alice Walker

Celie Timeline and Summary

  • Pa molests Celie repeatedly for years. As a young girl, she becomes pregnant by him twice, and both times he takes her children away.
  • Pa marries Celie off to Mr.__, a man looking for a woman to clean his house, cook for him, and take care of his children. On her wedding day, Mr.__’s oldest son hits her with a rock, trying to kill her.
  • Celie sees a little girl in a fabric store whom she’s sure is her daughter. She learns that Olivia has been adopted by a minister and his wife. She’s not 100% positive it’s her daughter—but she’s pretty sure.
  • Celie is ripped apart from her sister Nettie when Mr.__ throws her out of the house. Nettie promises to write, but Celie never receives a letter from her.
  • Celie tells her stepson, Harpo, to beat his wife Sofia. Ultimately, Celie suffers when Harpo takes her advice because she realizes she’s committed a sin against Sofia.
  • Celie takes care of Shug Avery and nurses her back to health.
  • When Shug sings a song that she’s named "Celie’s song," Celie has never felt so special.
  • Shug leaves after she’s managed to get Mr.__ to agree not to beat Celie so much.
  • Shug returns to Mr.__ and Celie, bringing her new husband with her. But during that visit, Celie and Shug show their love for each other and Celie experiences sexual pleasure for the first time.
  • Celie discovers Nettie’s letters, which Mr.__ has kept hidden.
  • Celie leaves Mr.__. She goes to Tennessee with Shug and Grady and begins her own business making pants.
  • Celie comes home after her Pa dies and leaves the house and business to her. She employs Sofia. She becomes friends, genuine friends, with Mr.__. She prepares the house for Nettie’s return.
  • Celie is reunited with her sister and her long-lost children.