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.