Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Twenty-Two

By Alice Walker

Letter Twenty-Two

  • Shug Avery is sick and everyone in town is talking about it. You get the sense that every thinks Shug got what she deserves for sleeping around. Some of the people gossiping about Shug are the ladies at church.
  • Celie helps out at the church as much as she can, helping with cleaning and all. The preacher even says that Celie is "faithful as the day is long."
  • Even the preacher is down on Shug. He says stuff about "a strumpet in short skirts, smoking cigarettes, drinking gin. Singing for money and talking other women mens. Talk about slut, hussy, heifer, and streetcleaner."
  • Celie wishes that Mr.__ would stand up for Shug, be he doesn’t.
  • Mr.__ is gone for a few days and then shows up with Shug Avery. He wants Celie to nurse Shug back to health.
  • Instead of getting mad, Celie gets absurdly excited when Shug Avery shows up. Even Shug’s stylish clothes get Celie’s heart beating fast.
  • Harpo and Sofia feel sad as they watch Mr.__ brings Shug into the house.
  • Turns out, Shug has attitude. When she comes in the door, the first thing she says when she sees Celie is, "Girl, you sure is ugly!"