Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Fifty

By Alice Walker

Letter Fifty

  • Shug is suddenly close with Mr.__ again and Celie can hardly stand it. Neither can Grady.
  • As it turns out, Shug is just trying to find out where Mr.__ is hiding Nettie’s letters.
  • Celie has a hard time believing that Mr.__ could be so mean that he would keep Nettie’s letters from her. Shug says, "Humpf, he that mean."
  • Celie and Shug trick Mr.__ to find out why he never gave her any of Nettie’s letters. Shug sees a letter in his pocket, and they wait and watch to see what he does with it.
  • Celie is totally out of it, and so mad that she’s ready to kill Mr.__.
  • Shug says that Celie is sick, and tells Mr.__ to spend the night alone. Shug stays with Celie.
  • Shug tells Celie a bit about her life. Her mother wasn’t affectionate at all, so when Shug fell for Albert, she couldn’t stay out of his arms. Shug had three babies with Albert, but after the third, her mom kicked her out.
  • Shug also tells Celie what she like so much about Albert: He could dance well, he was really funny, and he was great in bed. Shug wonders why he’s changed so much.
  • Shug says that Albert is weak. He wanted to marry Shug, but his father hated her, so he married Annie Julia instead. Shug admits that she was terrible to Albert’s first wife and that Annie Julia had a terrible life.
  • Shug admits that she treated Celie badly at first too, just because Celie was Albert’s wife. Shug also says that she never even wanted to be Albert’s wife, she just wanted to be the only woman he desired.