Notes on Objects & Places from The Color Purple

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The Color Purple Objects/Places

Harpo’s: Harpo’s is Harpo and Sofia’s old house transformed into a night jukejoint. It becomes a successful business when Shug Avery sings there and a permanent fixture in the rural town.

Olinka: Olinka is the small African village in which Corrine, Samuel, Nettie, Adam, and Olivia live for the majority of the children’s youth. They learn much from these people, and vice versa. Unfortunately, the village of Olinka is destroyed when the contractors build a road through it, forcing the people to pay for everything they have previously owned.

Memphis: Shug Avery hails from Memphis, Tennessee. She owns a large and lavish home there, and takes Celie, Grady, and Squeak to it for several months. While in Memphis, Celie finds her true voice, strength, and calling – she learns how to make pants.

England: Corrine, Samuel, and Nettie stop over in England before they go to Africa to learn about missionary work and collect money. Samuel and Nettie return to England years later to marry and speak with their leader about the station in Africa.

Africa: Africa is the 'dark country' in which Samuel, Corrine, and Nettie work as missionaries. They learn about their history and from whence they came, while in Africa, and are frustrated with the people at the same time. It is the most phenomenal and enlightening experience for Nettie, and she tells Celie every thought during her venture.

Celie’s Pants (Folkspants): Celie spends hours perfecting the perfect set of pants while living with Shug in Memphis. She sends them to Jack and Harpo and everyone else in her family. They become a huge success and she begins Folkspants, a clothing company.

Prison: Sofia must live in the local prison for nearly eight years until Miss Millie takes her away to work in her home. While in prison, Sofia becomes a hardened, murderous person.

Celie’s House: When he step-father dies, Celie learns that her true father left her the house in which she grew up. Initially she does not want it, but soon realizes that she can fix it up to be the home for her and Nettie’s families when she returns. It is a source of hope and unity for both sisters.

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