Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Sixty-Seven

By Alice Walker

Letter Sixty-Seven

  • Samuel thought the children were Nettie’s too. He thought that was why she ended up on their doorstep.
  • Samuel reveals how he got the children to begin with, from a shady character he’d known before he became a religious man.
  • This man—Celie and Nettie’s Pa—turns out not to really be their father after all. He’s their stepfather.
  • Their real father owned a successful store but was lynched by white folks who were angry that he was taking away so many of their customers.
  • Apparently, after their real father was murdered, their mother kind of lost it. The neighbors had to keep bringing over food to feed young Celie and Nettie.
  • Then a stranger came into town and married Celie and Nettie’s mother. The woman was pregnant every year from then on.
  • According to Samuel’s story, the woman (Nettie and Celie’s mom), had two children just before she died that she was unable to care for—Olivia and Adam.
  • Samuel never told Corrine about how he got the children, they just considered the kids gifts from God.
  • Samuel says that when Nettie showed up, he assume that his ex-friend ("Pa") had been messing around with a young girl and that Nettie was the kids’ real mom. That’s why he so willingly took her in.