Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Seventeen

By Alice Walker

Letter Seventeen

  • Harpo is still in love, but the girl’s father doesn’t approve of him. The man says that Harpo isn’t good enough. It’s all because Harpo’s mom was murdered.
  • Harpo watched his mom’s boyfriend kill her. He has nightmares about it.
  • Celie is good to Mr.__’s children, but she doesn’t love them.
  • Harpo tells Celie all about the girl he likes, Sofia Butler. Harpo has also gotten Sofia pregnant.
  • Sofia comes over to meet Mr.__. She’s about eight months pregnant. She looks like a big, thick girl.
  • Mr.__ insults the girl, saying that she’s probably got her "legs open to every Tom, Dick, and Harry," meaning he doesn’t want to believe Sofia is carrying Harpo’s baby.
  • Harpo doesn’t defend Sofia.
  • Sofia realizes that Harpo is still too dependent on his father. She leaves, saying that when Harpo is ready to be a man, she and the baby will be waiting.
  • Sofia’s father has kicked her out, but she’s living with her sister and brother-in-law.