Study Guide

The Color Purple Three Act Plot Analysis

By Alice Walker

Three Act Plot Analysis

Act I

Celie is raped by her Pa, gives birth to children that are taken away from her, gets married, and loses Nettie. In every possible way, Celie is a victim.

Act II

Mr.__’s mistress moves in and Celie falls in love with her. She discovers all the letters from Nettie that Mr.__ hid all these decades. Celie finally finds her voice, stands up for herself, and leaves Mr.__.


Celie starts her own life, indulging her interest in sewing pants and starting a small clothing business. Celie waits for her sister to come home. She learns all about Nettie’s life in Africa and her children, Olivia and Adam. Mr.__ changes and the two of them become friends. Eventually, Shug and Mr.__ become like family. And then, at long last, Nettie comes home—and brings her husband and Celie’s children.