Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Fifty-Seven

By Alice Walker

Letter Fifty-Seven

  • Nettie’s sixth letter
  • Samuel is a kind man. Nettie realizes that black men can be kind and gentle. Corrine is a lucky woman to be married to Samuel.
  • Nettie describes the ship they sailed on and wonders again why Africans sold their own brothers and sisters into slavery.
  • Nettie and the Reverend’s family stop off in England. There, Nettie meets white people who are eager to help with their missionary work and also invite them to tea.
  • In England, Nettie goes to museums to learn about Africa.
  • Nettie learns that Africans used to have a more sophisticated civilization than the English, but that the Africans have fallen on "hard times."
  • Nettie list some of the problems that ail Africans: they worship the devil, have lots of diseases, are illiterate, and are "sunk in a spiritual confusion."
  • Monrovia, Liberia is their last stop before they reach their final destination. Liberia was founded by ex-slaves who came back to Africa from America. Nettie wonders how the people of Liberia feel about returning to Africa after having been sold as slaves.