The Color Purple

by: Alice Walker

Sexuality

Quotes Sexuality
He start to choke me, saying You better shut up and git used to it. But I don’t never get used to it.

In the very first letter to God, fourteen-year-old Celie admits that the man she believes is her father, Alphonso, raped her repeatedly for more than a year. The first time, her mother had gone to Macon to visit her sister, soon after giving birth to Celie’s sibling, Lucious. Her mother had been sick and had refused her husband’s advances, so while she was away, Alphonso went after Celie, making her do what her mother would not.

Mr. _____ won’t let us marry. Say I’m not good enough to come in his parlor. But if she big I got a right to be with her, good enough or no.

Harpo confesses his love for Sofia to Celie in Letter 17, and adds that if she is “big,” or pregnant, that would seal the deal. Then, their fathers would have to allow them to be together. This social code runs deep throughout the novel. If a woman becomes pregnant, she belongs to the baby’s father, who now becomes her master.

Only time I feels something stirring down there is when I think bout Shug. And that like running to the end of the road and it turn back on itself.

Celie admits that she feels sexually attracted to and aroused by Shug Avery as opposed to what she feels when Mr. ____ does his business with her. When Shug showed up at their house, Celie immediately became self-conscious of her own appearance. She shares intimacies with Shug that she doesn’t share with anyone else. These sexual feelings are new to Celie, and they will grow.

I look at her and touch it with my finger. A little shiver go through me. Nothing much. But just enough to tell me this is the right button to mash. Maybe.

With the help of Shug, Celie discovers her own sexuality by exploring and appreciating the more private parts of her body in a shame-free, inquisitive, and innocent way. Celie has never had the chance to enjoy her sexuality because she's been abused and viewed as an object her whole life. Shug helps her own her body and enjoy it on her own terms.

But she say, Naw, just being mad, grief, wanting to kill somebody will make you feel this way. Nothing to worry about. Titties gonna perk up, button gonna rise again.

Celie recounts Shug’s perspective on her anger at Mr. _____ for hiding Nettie’s letters. Shug reassures her that Celie’s loss of interest in sex is a temporary reaction to her strong emotions. Celie confessed that she wanted to kill Mr. _____ with a razor for what he had done. After Celie reveals that she feels dead inside, the two women agree that they can show each other affection by snuggling and hugging. They also decide that Celie should wear pants and that they will sew some for her. A needle, not a razor, can be Celie’s cure.