The Color Purple Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Pa say about Celie that convinces Mr. to marry her?

2. What color fabric does Celie hope to buy for her very first dress?

3. How many children do Mr. and Shug have together?

4. What interesting household task is Sofia completing when Celie visits to speak to her about Harpo?

5. What bothers Celie about her father’s new wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Shug Avery come to live in Celie’s house, and how does Celie feel about this?

2. What lesson does Shug teach Celie about her sexuality?

3. How do Mr. and Celie come to be married?

4. What happens when Harpo and Sofia see each other for the first time at the juke joint?

5. How does Harpo react to the news that Sofia’s father doesn’t think he’s good enough for her?

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

7. How does Mr.’s family feel about having Shug in the house?

8. Why does Harpo start working in the fields, and how does he feel about it?

9. How do Carrie and Kate react when they meet Celie for the first time?

10. Why does Sofia decide to leave Harpo, and how does he react to the news?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the coming-of-age ritual Tashi partakes in at her village. In what ways is Tashi’s coming-of-age story similar to Celie’s? What symbolism can be found in Tashi’s scars, and how does the novel suggest that scars, both physical and emotional, are healed? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the epistolary structure of the novel. What are the benefits of constructing a novel of letters? What are the benefits of this style? What are the drawbacks? How does the structure inform the characters, particularly Celie’s, growth? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

How does Nettie’s life change when she moves in with Samuel and Corinne? What suspicions do the reverend and his wife have about their new charge? How are these suspicions ultimately resolved, and how does that change Nettie’s life once again? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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