Sofia is the opposite to Celie in many ways: she is bold, brassy, and she stands up for herself. Although Shug is also like this, Shug is the love of Celie’s life, so she fits a different role better. Sofia is the first woman that Celie recognizes as truly different, perhaps even opposite to, her. As such, she is initially jealous that Sofia doesn’t also suffer at the hands of men – this is why she tells Harpo to beat Sofia. Then she and Sofia become good friends.