Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Seventy-Two

By Alice Walker

Letter Seventy-Two

  • A letter from Nettie.
  • Nettie writes that Olivia has become a woman—she has gotten her "friend," her period.
  • They bury Corrine the Olinka way—wrapped in a barkcloth under a large tree. Samuel and the children are very upset.
  • Two white engineers come to check out the village, especially the wells.
  • Samuel gives Corrine’s clothes to Nettie, because Nettie is in desperate need of more clothing.
  • Neither Nettie nor the villagers have clothing appropriate for the African climate. The Olinka women used to wear very little clothing, but that bothered the English, who brought the Mother Hubbard—a loose, shapeless dress—to Africa.
  • Nettie is happy to have Corrine’s clothes so she doesn’t have to wear an icky Mother Hubbard.
  • Samuel wants to know more about Celie, and Nettie tells him plenty.