The Color Purple Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is unique about the novel’s style, which is made apparent within the first few pages?

This novel is written as a series of letters. Fourteen-year-old Celie writes a series of letters to God, the only person she thinks would care to hear her thoughts.

2. How many children does Celie give birth to, and what happens to them?

In the first section of the novel, Celie gives birth to two children, first a girl and then a boy. Celie fears that Pa took the girl into the woods and killed her after the birth, and hopes he has sold the boy to a wealthy family in town.

3. What brings on Celie’s terrible beating from Pa after church?

At church one Sunday, Pa is sure he has seen Celie winking at a boy. When they get home, he beats Celie terribly even though she insists she wasn’t flirting, she simply had something caught in her eye.

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