Study Guide

Mary Agnes in The Color Purple

By Alice Walker

Mary Agnes

Squeak might have been mousy at first, but she gains power after the white warden rapes her—not because of the rape, but in spite of it. After being raped, she stands up to the rest of the people in her life who fail to recognize her as a person. Specifically, she fights against Harpo, ultimately leaving him to become a singer. Her transformation into an independent person is symbolized by her name change: She insists that people call her Mary Agnes instead of the dismissive nickname "Squeak."