The Color Purple

by: Alice Walker

Important Quotations Explained

Us sleep like sisters, me and Shug.

In her sixtieth letter, Celie is recovering from the shock of learning Mr. ______ has been hiding Nettie’s letters to her. To help Celie overcome her anger, Shug positions herself as a very maternal or sisterly figure who protects and arranges Celie’s outside environment and makes sure Celie does not act on her instinct to murder Mr.______. Nonetheless, though Celie and Shug’s relationship becomes more sisterly and familial, the intimate and sexual side does not disappear. In Shug and Celie’s relationship, Walker shows sexuality to be a complex phenomenon. Celie and Shug are sexual with one another, but they are simultaneously maternal, sisterly, friendly, and loving.