© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Color Purple

The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

Sexuality and Sexual Identity Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

He beat me today cause he say I winked at a boy in church. I may have got somethin in my eye but I didn’t wink. I don’t even look at mens. That’s the truth. I look at women, tho, cause I’m not scared of them. Maybe cause my mama cuss me you think I kept mad at her. But I ain’t. I felt sorry for mama. Trying to believe his story kilt her. (5.1)

The first evidence that Celie may not be at all interested in males: she is afraid of men. Besides, the men she knows (a.k.a. Pa) are liars. The only man in Celie’s life is her Pa, and he abuses her terribly and lies to her mother. Ultimately, Celie blames Pa for her mother’s death.

Quote #2

They have made three babies together but he squeamish bout giving her a bath. Maybe he figure he start thinking about things he shouldn’t. But what bout me? First time I got the full sight of Shug Avery long black body with it black plum nipples, look like her mouth, I thought I had turned into a man.

What you staring at? she ast. Hateful. She weak as a kitten. But her mouth just pack with claws. You never seen a naked woman before?

No ma’am, I said. I never did. Cept for Sofia, and she so plump and ruddy and crazy she feel like my sister.

She say, Well take a good look. Even if I is just a bag of bones now. She have the nerve to put one hand on her naked hip and bat her eyes at me. Then she suck her teef and roll her eyes at the ceiling while I wash her.

I wash her body, it feel like I’m praying. My hands tremble and my breath short. (24.1-5)

For the first time in her life, Celie is attracted to somebody. Her attraction to Shug is instant and physical. Even though Shug is mean, Celie still is excited by her.

Quote #3

He love looking at Shug. I love looking at Shug.

But Shug don’t love looking at but one of us. Him.

But that the way it spose to be. I know that. But if that so, why my heart hurt me so? (33.24-26)

Celie battles with whether or not her feelings for Shug are OK. On one hand, Celie thinks that it’s right and natural for people to be attracted to the opposite sex. On the other hand, Celie can’t deny her feelings for Shug and is jealous of Mr.__.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement