Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Thirty-Five

By Alice Walker

Letter Thirty-Five

  • Mr.__ and Shug sleep together just about every night.
  • Shug asks if Celie cares that she and Albert sleep together. Celie doesn’t really care, but she doesn’t say that.
  • Celie asks if Shug loves Mr.__ and Shug says she has "passion"—not love—for him. She can’t really love him, it seems, because he’s weak and indecisive.
  • Celie asks if Shug likes sleeping with Mr.__ and Shug admits that she does. In fact, Shug says, "Don’t you?"
  • When Celie admits that she has never enjoyed sex, that it feels just like Mr.__ gets on top of her and goes to the bathroom on her, Shug says that Celie is a virgin.
  • Shug tells Celie that sex can feel really good. Then she gives Celie a mirror and tells her to look at her own vagina.
  • Shug guards the door while Celie checks herself out. Shug directs Celie to look at her "button" (clitoris) and her "titties" too.
  • Celie tells Shug she doesn’t mind if Shug and Mr.__ sleep together. But Celie does mind, not because she wants to sleep with Mr.__ herself, but, we suspect, because she wants to sleep with Shug herself.