Part 2: pg. 51-99 Notes from The Color Purple

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The Color Purple Part 2: pg. 51-99

Shug Avery seems to be pure evil. She is rude, mean, and demanding of everyone around her, namely Mr. _____. When she calls him Albert, Celie vaguely recalls that Albert is her husband's first name, for she has always called him Mr._____. Celie realizes that Shug Avery is sicker than anyone, sicker ever than her mother upon death; however, her evil is the only thing keeping her alive. When Celie expresses her feelings to Mr. ____, he wonders if she wants Shug to go. Celie claims she does not; she wants her to stay. Mr. ____ is upset and hurt that nobody in town fought for Shug during her time of need.

Although he had three children with her, Mr. ____ cannot bear to touch Shug now or even bathe her in her emaciated state. Celie is left to wash this goddess of a woman and is shocked to see her naked. Celie wonders where Shug's children are and she responds that they are with their grandma, thank goodness. She does not miss them at all. Celie longs for her own lost babies. Afterwards, Celie tries to feed Shug, for Mr. ____ has failed on numerous occasions. Finally, she cooks a home cured ham, with the rich smell resonating throughout the house. Shug eats this meat, smokes her cigarettes and drinks, like normal. Mr.____ expresses his fear to Celie about Shug's ailing health.

Celie continues to care for Shug Avery, washing and combing her short, knotty hair, swooning over her thin long limbs and dark black skin. She plays with Shug Avery as if she were a doll or her baby Olivia. Simultaneously Shug Avery reads magazines with white women in the pictures, and listens to and hums along to songs that are sinful, according to the preacher.

Mr.____'s father, Old Mr._____ comes to visit after hearing that his son is housing his whore, Shug Avery, in the same house as his wife, Celie. He cannot believe what is occurring, especially with such a woman as Shug; a woman with the nasty woman disease. Tobias, Mr.____'s brother comes to visit next, to see for sure if the famous Shug Avery is still alive, according to the rumors. He is rude and cruel to Mr. ____, wondering how he could put up with Shug and frustrated that Old Mr._____'s money is going to such a family. He reminds Mr. ____ that he owns the house in which he lives and the house in which Harpo and Sofia live. It is them against the rest of the world.

"What the world got to do with anything, I think. Then I see myself sitting there quilting tween Shug Avery and Mr. ______. Us three set together gainst Tobias and his fly speck box of chocolate. For the first time in my life, I feel just right." Part 2, pg. 61

Topic Tracking: Family 7

Sofia and Celie continue to work on their quilt called "Sister's Choice." Shug donates her yellow dress to the cause, which Celie tries to work in often in the form of stars. One day while they are quilting, Sofia asks Celie why people eat, for she is worried about Harpo. He is constantly eating, even when full. And although his body is still skinny, about half the size of plump Sofia, his belly is growing wider and fuller. Sofia also wonders what is wrong with him, for he loves to cook and clean, but suddenly stops because he claims his father never did anything in the house. He comes over to Celie's house, eats a superfluous amount of food, belches, and continues to eat. They tease him by asking him when his baby is due.

One evening after everyone has gone to bed, Celie hears Harpo awake in bed crying. He had been visiting them for the weekend. Harpo has a black eye from Sofia and wonders why she doesn't listen to him or do what he asks, like he believes a wife should. Celie tells him that some women cannot be beaten. She gets beaten by Mr. _____, but does not love him. She married him because her father wanted her to and he married her to take care of his children. However, Sofia and Harpo love one another and have a different relationship. When they begin to speak of food and weight, Harpo leans over, vomits and falls back asleep.

Sofia confides in Celie that she is bored with her marriage. She doesn't want Harpo to touch her anymore and is exhausted all the time. Celie tells her to sleep on it and that the love will come back. She thinks about escaping to her sister's place on a farm. When Sofia mentions her sister, Celie thinks back to Nettie and feels a sharp pain in her heart. Sofia claims she just wants a vacation from life, and then continues to work. Soon, Sofia's sisters, all strong and robust women, come to pick her up. She kisses her children goodbye and leaves Harpo with the house and three babies.

Six months pass and Sofia does not return. Meanwhile, Harpo discovers an entire new self. He is constantly on the road, building things in the house, and realizes that he is smart and cute, according to everyone in town. Celie asks Harpo what he will do when Sofia comes home. Harpo tells her that he knows she's never coming home again, and continues to build a juke joint in the house.

When Harpo opens his new juke joint, unfortunately nobody comes. He just waits behind the counter advertising bread and chicken and other goods. When Celie comes to the store, they both realize that if they got Shug Avery to perform, business would begin and boom. After finding her old fliers, Shug opens at Harpo's of ____ Plantation, to huge crowds. As Celie helps Shug prepare for her comeback concert, Mr. ____ states that no wife of his is going to the show that evening. Shug blurts that it's a good thing she is not his wife. Although both Mr. _____ and Celie love to look at Shug and adore her, she only looks back at one of them: Mr. ____. Celie doesn't care and attends Shug's show that evening to hear Shug dedicate a song to her. Celie is thrilled. "First time somebody made something and name it after me" Part 2, pg. 75.

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 4

Shug Avery continues to sing at Harpo's and regain her strength until she is prepared to head back on the road. Celie is speechless, for it feels just like when Nettie left her years ago. Shug comforts Celie until Celie confesses that Mr. ____ beats her when Shug is not around. Shug wonders why? Celie tells her that it is because she is Celie and not Shug. Shug promises not to leave until she is sure that Albert (Mr.____) will never beat her again.

Topic Tracking: Violence 7

Days pass, Shug continues to sing at Harpo's, yet everyone knows she is planning to leave town soon. Shug and Mr. ____ sleep together almost every night. Shug wonders if it bothers Celie that she is always in her husband's bed. Celie responds that she does not care at all. Shug tells Celie of her passion for Albert and how much she loves to sleep with him. She wonders if Celie has felt that way about anyone. Celie claims that she has not; she has not even seen herself or Albert naked. Shug is shocked at Celie's "virginal" mindset, gives her a mirror, and tells her to go into the bathroom to find her button and look at her titties. Celie does so and is in heaven. Shug warns her that the men are coming back to the house, so Celie pulls her clothing back on and comes back into the room. Again, Celie gives her well wishes to Shug, despite the fact that she covers her ears and plays with her button at night when she hears them making love.

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 5

One evening at Harpo's, Sofia returns. She brings her prizefighter boyfriend to the joint. Everyone is shocked and surprised to see her after so long an absence, especially with a new man on her arm. However, Harpo also has a new girlfriend named Squeak; a woman like Celie who obeys her man's every command. Celie wonders what Sofia is doing in a joint like Harpo's when she has five children at home. She corrects her by saying that now she has six children. A daughter named Henrietta with the prizefighter. Everyone looks at Shug in her tight dress.

"All the men got they eyes glued to Shug's bosom. I got my eyes glued there too. I feel my nipples harden under my dress. My little button sort of perk up too. Shug, I say to her in my mind, Girl, you looks like a real good time, the Good Lord knows you do." Part 2, pg. 82

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 6

Harpo wants to dance with Sofia, much to both of their new sweethearts' dismay. Squeak tries to cut in, finding strength and attitude and possession over her man. However, it is not enough compared to Sofia who punches her in the mouth, losing two teeth. Before anyone realizes it, Sofia and the prizefighter leave Harpo's with a mad rush of an engine.

Topic Tracking: Violence 8

Harpo spends his time moping around, worrying both Squeak and Celie. Celie tells Squeak that Harpo is so sad because Sofia is in jail for punching the mayor. After she and the prizefighter left Harpo's that evening, they went into town. The mayor spotted them, telling his wife, Millie, to go over and speak to them. She does so, complimenting Sofia on her children's cleanliness and asking her if she would like to be her maid. Sofia says that she will not be her maid and proceeds to pick a fight and mouth off on the mayor and his wife. She then punches the mayor, causing all of the surrounding police to pounce on her, beat her to a pulp, and throw her in jail. Squeak cannot take this story without wincing, while Celie recalls her visit to jail to clean and care for a torn Sofia.

"When I see Sofia I don't know why she still alive. They crack her skull, they crack her ribs. They tear her nose loose on one side. They blind her in one eye. She swole from head to foot. Her tongue the size of my arm, it stick out tween her teef like a piece of rubber. She can't talk. And she just about the color of a eggplant." Part 2, pg. 87

Topic Tracking: Violence 9

Shug comes up from Memphis to visit Sofia in jail with Harpo and Celie. They can see her only twice a month for thirty minutes. Sofia tells them about the horrid and rancid conditions in which she lives, with fleas, vermin, roaches, and about her job cleaning the dirty sheets. She tells them that she dreams of murder when they speak to her. Celie wonders how she survives, to which Sofia responds that she thinks about her. She just looks at them and does what she is told, just like Celie. They inform Sofia that her children are fine and healthy and cared for, between the help of Harpo, Squeak, and Odessa.

The family sits around trying to discover a solution to Sofia's predicament, for they all fear for her life, sanity, and violent desires. Celie daydreams about white people and white Gods rescuing Sofia from prison. Suddenly, they wonder about the warden and realize that he has Negro blood running through his veins. Squeak realizes that she is related to him; they are cousins. The prizefighter and Mr.______ and Harpo tell her to go speak with him immediately. They clean, pamper, and dress Squeak as a white woman and prepare her for her conversation with Hodges the warden. They say that she must continue to remind him that she is living with Sofia's husband and must tell him that Sofia is happy where she is. The goal is not to let Sofia work as a white woman's maid, for they fear her violent streak will turn drastic and fatal. The prizefighter feels as if they are playing Uncle Toms.

Topic Tracking: Family 8

Squeak returns home beat up, disheveled, and raped by Hodges the warden. As soon as he recognized who she is, he forced her to undress and fornicate. He believes that as her uncle, he is justified in his vicious actions. Harpo is miserable, with his wife beat up and in jail and his woman raped. Squeak asks Harpo if he loves her because of her light color. He tells her he loves her for her, regardless of her color. She tells everyone that her real name is Mary Agnes.

Topic Tracking: Violence 10

Six months after the Squeak incident at jail, she begins to sing in a high pitched voice that everyone grows to love. The children love her, for she allows them to do anything they want, and she seems to have forgiven Sofia for knocking out her teeth. Squeak understands that Sofia's life is difficult, and continues to sing:

"They calls me yellow
like yellow be my name
They calls me yellow
Like yellow be my name
But if yellow is a name
Why aint black the same
Well, if I say Hey black girl
Lord, she try to ruin my game"
Part 2, pg. 97

Three years after Sofia leaves the washhouse in prison, she gains her weight and color back to her normal physical self. Millie requested her release, with the condition that Sofia will become her housemaid. However, Sofia still wonders about murder and asks Celie why they haven't killed off all the white people yet. They are playing in a playground one day near Miss Millie's yard and see her children play ball. It falls near Sofia's feet. Billy, the little boy asks her to throw it back, and she responds harshly that she will do no such thing. He looks down at his foot and there is a rusty nail stabbed into it. Millie gathers her little boy and girl and brings them away back to the house. Celie comments that the girl, Eleanor Jane, is beautiful and cute. Sofia ignores those comments and returns to her images of disgust and hatred, despite a little giggle that she allows through the staunch and obstinate nature.

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