The Color Purple
How we cite our quotes:
When a woman marry she spose to keep a decent house and a clean family. (12.5)
Carrie, Mr.__’s sister, pronounces a woman’s duty as wife and mother. Celie certainly keeps Mr.__’s house and children clean, but that doesn’t leave her feeling fulfilled and it certainly doesn’t make Mr.__ love her.
Harpo tell me all his love business now. His mind on Sofia Butler day and night.
She pretty, he tell me. Bright.
Naw. Bright skin. She smart too though, I think. Sometime us can git her away from her daddy.
I know right then the next thing I hear, she be big.
If she so smart how come she big? I ast.
Harpo shrug. She can’t git out the house no other way, he say. Mr.________ won’t let us marry. Say I’m not good enough to come in his parlor. But if she big I got a right to be with her, good enough or not.
Where yall gon stay?
They got a big place, he say. When us marry I’ll be just like one of the family. (17.12-20)
Harpo uses pregnancy as a means to get what he wants – that is, to marry the girl he wants and become part of her family. But he’s young and has unrealistic expectations for how he’ll be treated.
Well how you spect to make her mind? Wives is like children. You have to let ‘em know who got the upper hand. Nothing can do that better than a good sound beating.
He puff on his pipe.
Sofia think too much of herself anyway, he say. She need to be taken down a peg. I like Sofia, but she don’t act like me at all. If she talking when Harpo and Mr._________ come in the room, she keep right on. If they ast her where something at, she say she don’t know. Keep talking.
I think bout this when Harpo ast me what he ought to do to her to make her mind. I don’t mention how happy he is now. How three years pass and he still whistle and sing. I think bout how every time I jump when Mr.________ call me, she look surprise. And like she pity me.
Beat her. I say. (19.5-12)
Even though Harpo is happy with Sofia, his marriage isn’t fitting his expectations. Love isn’t enough to make his marriage satisfying to him. He always saw his father controlling his wives, and now he wants the same.