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 Shug teach Celie about sex?

2. Why does Mr. have a bad reputation?

3. How do Celie’s sisters-in-law feel about her housekeeping skills?

4. Why is Mr. upset with the townsfolk after Shug moves in with him?

5. What does Shug promise she will do before she moves out?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What obsessive behavior does Harpo start, and what does this suggest about his character?

5. How does Sofia end up in jail?

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

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

8. Why does Celie suddenly feel jealous of Mr. and Shug when she sees them at the juke joint?

9. What happens when Squeak tries to convince the warden to let Sofia out of jail early?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is sewing a symbol for in the novel? Why is it significant that Celie and Sofia sew a quilt together after Shug moves in? What does the diversity of a patchwork quilt suggest about the relationships in the novel, particularly the female relationships? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the role of women, specifically black women, in the novel. What is the expected role that these women will take on? Are there any characters that fight against this expectation? If not, why? If so, what happens to them? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Describe Celie’s relationship with Shug. How does it grow and change over the course of the novel? Would you consider them more like sisters or lovers? Why? What is the difference between these two types of relationships? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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