Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Twelve

By Alice Walker

Letter Twelve

  • Mr.__’s sisters, Carrie and Kate, visit. They think that Celie is a good housekeeper, unlike Mr.__’s first wife.
  • Carrie and Kate have quite a few bad things to say about their brother’s first wife. Apparently, she didn’t take care of the kids well and never cooked.
  • Seems like the woman wasn’t so much to be blamed because after he married the girl, Mr.__ just left her alone and "kept right on running after Shug Avery." The poor girl was stuck alone having his babies while he was blatantly cheating on her.
  • The sisters say they’re sick of hearing about Shug Avery all the time.
  • Kate visits again. She makes her brother buy Celie some new clothes. Kate takes Celie shopping, which is her first time getting new clothing; she’s only had second-hand dresses before.
  • Kate tries to defend Celie against the kids. Harpo, the oldest son, refuses to help Celie with any housework because he says only women work. Kate gets pissed and tells the boy off, but then Mr.__ has a chat with his sister. She gets so mad that she leaves.
  • Before Kate leaves, though, she says to Celie, "You got to fight them […]. I can’t do it for you. You got to fight them for yourself."