The Color Purple: Character Profiles
Celie: Celie is the main character and narrator of the story; though at first she is submissive to the abusive men around her, due to the positive influence of strong women around her, she grows into a strong, independent black women who stands up for herself. Celie has two children from her stepfather who raped her and then gave the children away to Samuel and Corrine.
Nettie: Nettie is the younger, more attractive sister of Celie who lives with Samuel and his family and even travels with them to Africa on a mission trip.
Alphonso: Alphonso is the cruel and abusive stepfather of Celie and Nettie. He is Walker’s first example of an evil man.
Mr. __: Mr. __ is the husband of Celie. He too, is abusive, though not as much as Alphonso. Mr. __ doesn’t love Celie, but instead has an on-going affair with Shug Avery.
Harpo: Harpo is the son of Mr. __ and wife of Sofia. Harpo is a very confused young man. Though at first he tries to emulate his father’s abusive tendencies, Sofia teaches him that force is not the way to solve problems.
Sofia: She is the wife of Harpo who serves as an example to Celie of independent womanhood.
Shug Avery: Shug is the hero of the story, lover of Celie; more than anyone else, Shug teaches Celie how to be her own person.
Grady: He is the husband of Shug but is really in love with Squeak.
Samuel: Samuel is the black minister who travels to Africa with Nettie and eventually marries her after Corrine’s death. Samuel is an adopted father to Celie’s children, Olivia and Adam.
Corrine: Corrine is the wife of Samuel who dies in Africa.
Olivia: Olivia is the daughter of Celie who grows up as the adopted child of Samuel and Corrine.
Adam: Adam is the son of Celie who grows up as the adopted child of Samuel and Corrine.
Tashi: Tashi is the African native who marries Adam and returns with him to America.
Mary Agnes (Squeak): Squeak is the girlfriend of Harpo and later Grady; Shug teaches her to sing in public.