The Color Purple: Novel Summary: Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

Pages 204-225

Nettie and her new husband and family return to Africa to tell the Olinka people that the Missionary Society can’t help them any longer.  Upon their return, they find out that Tashi has scarred her face in the traditional Olinka custom.  This is troubling to Adam especially, since he hopes to marry Tashi one day and bring her back to America.

Back in America, Alphonso dies, leaving his house to Celie and Nettie.  Shug falls in love with a nineteen-year-old heart-throb in her band.  Here the differences between Shug and Celie are exemplified: Shug thinks that “some men can be lots of fun,” while Celie hates all men because of her past experiences with them.  Celie feels very sad that Shug has left her for a man.

In Africa, Nettie experiences the same spiritual ideas as Celie.  Here again, it seems the two sisters are operating in a parallel universe.  Nettie explains, “not being tied to what God looks like, frees us.”

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