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Free Study Guide-The Color Purple by Alice Walker-Free Online Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES

CHAPTER 15

Summary

Shug is in town for the weekend. Albert stays away from home until Monday. In contrast, Celie works in the field all weekend wondering about Shug. When he comes home, weak and crying, Celie wants to ask him many questions about Shug. All he wants to do is go to bed. When he finally wakes, he is so exhausted he can barely hoe. He soon goes back to the house, and Celie follows, thinking he is sick. Albert orders her to return to work in the fields.


Notes

It is obvious in this chapter that Albert is lovesick over Shug. He stays away from home all weekend and comes home exhausted on Monday, unable to work. Although Celie realizes he has been with Shug, she does not seem angry about it. Instead, she wants to know about Shug, but is afraid to ask. Her lack of self-worth is evident throughout the chapter. She accepts that that her husband has no interest in her except as a laborer in the fields and tries to forget about her misery by fantasizing about Shug. For both Albert and Celie, Shug represents a magical world where hard labor does not exist and beauty and desire are paramount.

Chapter 16

Summary

Celie tells God that Harpo, like her, is not able to fight back against Albert. Now that Harpo is old enough to work on the farm, Albert thinks he does not have to work any more. Harpo resents this and questions his father about it. Like Celie, he tries to forget his misery by fantasizing about the girl at church.

Notes

Albert is a burden on the family. Because he is not working in the fields anymore, the others have to work twice as hard. As a result, Harpo is treated much like Celie; to his father, he is nothing more than a work animal. Ironically, Celie, Albert, and Harpo all spend time fantasizing about women to escape the reality of their world.

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