The Color Purple
How we cite our quotes:
She [Mama] got sicker an sicker.
Finally she ast Where it is?
I say God took it.
He took it. He took it while I was sleeping. Kilt it out there in the woods. Kill this one too, if he can. (2.4-7)
Like many children, Celie confuses her father with God. Rather, she doesn’t actually think her father is God, but his power over her makes him god-like.
I ain’t never struck a living thing, I say. Oh, when I was at home I tap the little ones on the behind to make ‘em behave, but not hard enough to hurt.
What you do when you git mad? she ast.
I think. I can’t even remember the last time I felt mad, I say. I used to git mad at my mammy cause she put a lot of work on me. Then I see how sick she is. Couldn’t stay mad at her. Couldn’t be mad at my daddy cause he my daddy. Bible say, Honor father and mother no matter what. Then after while every time I got mad, or start to feel mad, I got sick. Felt like throwing up. Terrible feeling. Then I start to feel nothing at all.
Sofia frown. Nothing at all?
Well, sometime Mr._______ git on me pretty hard. I have to talk to Old Maker. But he my husband. I shrug my shoulders. This life soon be over, I say. Heaven last all ways.
You ought to bash Mr.___________ head open, she say. Think bout heaven later. (21.39-44)
This passage implies that organized religion has kept Celie from rising up in anger against all of those who have sinned against her. Is this true, or just an excuse Celie is using?
We know a roofleaf is not Jesus Christ, but in its own humble way, is it not God? (61.28)
In Africa, Nettie recognizes that shelter and safety provided by the roofleaf are godlike in a way. Her definition of God begins to expand.