The Color Purple
Alice Walker
Contributed by Jennefer Ruano
Character Analysis

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 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 is the cruel and abusive stepfather of Celie and Nettie.  He is Walker’s first example of an evil man.


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.


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.


He is the husband of Shug but is really in love with Squeak.


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 is the wife of Samuel who dies in Africa.


Olivia is the daughter of Celie who grows up as the adopted child of Samuel and Corrine.


Adam is the son of Celie who grows up as the adopted child of Samuel and Corrine.


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.

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