Everybody say how good I is to Mr._________ children. I be good to them. But I don’t feel nothing for them. Patting Harpo back not even like patting a dog. It more like patting another piece of wood. Not a living tree, but a table, a chifferobe. Anyhow, they don’t love me neither, no matter how good I is. (17.10)
Unlike Nettie, who loves Celie, Mr.__’s children are not Celie’s family and she doesn’t treat them like family, even though she’s kind to them. Family is more about love than marriage or sharing the same blood.