The Color Purple: Novel Summary: Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

Pages 151-174

Years after she has left the house and the “Pa” with which she grew up, Celie decides to return with Shug.  At first they think that they’ve reached the wrong house when they notice how nice and clean the exterior of the home is.  Soon they realize that they are at the right house when Alphonso gets out of a car with a new fifteen-year-old wife.  The women notice how young Alphonso looks for his age.

When confronted, Alphonso tells them that Celie’s real father was lynched and that the story was too sad to tell them.  Both Celie’s parents had been buried in an unmarked black cemetery.

On the African front, Nettie tells Samuel and Corrine who the children’s true mother is.  This is a shock, since both Samuel and Corrine thought that Nettie was the true mother.  Corrine is dying at this time though, and is hesitant to believe that Celie is the mother.

Back at home, Shug witnesses to Celie about the universal, natural God she believes in.  Both women find it convenient to believe in this new age God since it doesn’t seem to condemn sin (especially Shug’s sins of adultery).   This universal God is also a way for the black women to rebel against the conventions of white society.

Eventually Shug and her husband, Grady, tell everyone that they are returning to Tennessee.  Celie says that she is going too.  When Mr. __ objects, she tells him off for the first time, saying, “You a low down dog is what’s wrong.  It’s time to leave you and enter into the creation.  And your dead body just the welcome mat I need.”

In this way, Celie's transformation to an independent woman is complete.

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