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

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

3. Why won’t the women at church help Shug when they hear she is ill?

4. Why does Harpo refuse to help Celie out around the house?

5. Why doesn’t Mr. want to marry Celie?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Harpo’s juke joint fare when it first opens?

2. Who is Olivia and where does Celie meet her?

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

4. How does Mr. react when Nettie comes to live with him, and why does she end up leaving?

5. Why is Mr. so emotional with Shug in his house?

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

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

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

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

10. How does Celie come to own her very first dress, and what does it look like?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

All throughout her life, Shug struggles to commit to those she loves – from Mr. to Grady to Germaine to Celie, and even to her children. What has caused Celie to avoid close relationships? Choose two of her relationships and discuss why she might have pushed this person away and how her rejection affected her jilted lover. Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the theme of spousal abuse. What are the effects of abuse, specifically on women and gender roles? How does the reader see the cycle of abuse, particularly through Harpo’s character? What message is Walker sending about spousal abuse by making Mr. and Celie friends at the end of the novel? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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