Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Twenty-One

By Alice Walker

Letter Twenty-One

  • Celie is having a hard time sleeping at night. She realizes that she feels really guilty that she told Harpo to beat Sofia. Celie hopes that Sofia doesn’t find out.
  • Sofia finds out that Celie told Harpo to beat her and she feels betrayed.
  • Celie apologizes and says she only gave Harpo that advice because, "I’m jealous of you. I say it cause you do what I can’t […]. Fight."
  • Sofia isn’t mad anymore, she just feels bad for Celie.
  • Sofia tells Celie that all her life, she’s had to fight men because it’s a man’s world, but she never thought she’d have to do that in her own home.
  • She affirms to Celie that she loves Harpo, but would rather kill him than let Harpo beat her.
  • Sofia admits that she feels sorry for Celie.
  • Celie says that she’s never been harsh with anyone and that she never gets mad. She doesn’t know what it’s like to have that feeling. In fact, she probably doesn’t have any feelings at all. And if she ever does feel frustrated, she talks to God.
  • Sofia gives Celie a piece of advice: "You ought to bash Mr.__ head open […]. Think bout heaven later."
  • The two women laugh together and decide to make a quilt.