Study Guide

The Color Purple Family

By Alice Walker


Celie's main concept of family is the connection she feels toward her sister Nettie. Though physically separated from all of her family members, Celie maintains her love and affection for her sister and two children for over thirty years. If that's not love, we don't know what is. During her separation from her biological family, Celie becomes so close to her friends that when she and Nettie are finally reunited, she refers to Shug and Albert as "her people." This reminds us that family can be whoever sticks with you through thick and thin.

Questions About Family

  1. Is family something people belong to by blood or by choice in The Color Purple?
  2. What is the definition of "family" in The Color Purple?
  3. Who are Celie’s family members?

Chew on This

Because they are separated from their blood relations, both Celie and Nettie create families from scratch with the imperfect people that come into their lives.