Selected Excerpts and Quotations from "The Color Purple"

Literature Related

*Everyone's entitled to their own thoughts about these, but at times I'm not the type to be partial to write certain things and ignore others.  I just thought these were interesting, that's all.  Okay?  Enjoy!

~"But I don't know how to fight.  All I know how to do is stay alive."  - Celie

~(Celie) : I say, Write.

[Nettie]: Nothing but death can keep me from it.

~"We know a roofleaf is not Jesus Christ, but in it's own humble way, is it not God?

~"Time moves slowly, but passes quickly."  - Nettie

~"...Unbelief is a terrible thing.  And so is the hurt we cause others unknowingly."  - Nettie

~"The years have come and gone without a single word from you.  Only the sky above us do we hold in common."  - Nettie

~"She say, All my life I had to fight.  I had to fight my daddy.  I had to fight my brothers.  I had to fight my cousins and my uncles.  A girl child ain't safe in a family of men.  But I never thought I'd have to fight in my own house.  She let out her breath.  I loves Harpo, she say.  God knows I do.  But I'll kill him dead before I let him beat me.  Now if you want a dead son-in-law you just keep advising him like you do."  - Sofia

~"Celie, tell the truth, have you ever found God in church?  I never did.  I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show.  Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me.  And I think all the other folks did too.  They came to share God, not find God."  - Shug Avery (Lillie)

~(Shug Avery): Here's the thing, say Shug.  The thing I believe.  God is inside you and inside everybody else.  You come into the world with God.  But only then that search for it inside find it.  And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for.  Trouble do it for most folks, I think.  Sorrow, lord.  Feeling like shit.

[Celie]     : It?  I ast.

(Shug Avery): Yeah, It.  God ain't a he or she, but a It.  ...Don't look like nothing, she say.  It ain't a picture show.  It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself.  I believe God is everything, say Shug.  Everything that is or ever was or ever will be.  And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found it.

~[Shug Avery]: I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.

(Celie)     : What it do when it pissed off?  I ast.

[Shug Avery]: Oh it makes something else.  People think pleasing God is all God care about.  But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.

(Celie)     : Yeah?  I say.

[Shug Avery]: Yeah, she say.  It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect.

(Celie)     : You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say.

[Shug Avery]: Yes, Celie, she say.  Everything want to be loved.  Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved.  You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?

~"Well, you know wherever there's a man, there's trouble."  - Celie

~"I'm pore, I'm black, I may be ugly and can't cook, a voice say to everything listening.  But I'm here."  - Celie

~"If you know your heart sorry, I say, that mean it not quite as spoilt as you think."  - Celie

~"I think us here to wonder, myself.  To wonder.  To ast.  And that in wondering bout the big things and asting bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident.  But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with.  The more I wonder, he say, the morel love."  - Alfred (Mr. ______)

Author's Notes/Comments: 

"The Color Purple," written by Alice Walker.  I loved reading this.  The movie too.

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Alan Cheng's picture

This is really interesting, and I've never done anything like this!! Very interesting!! =)

Ruth Lovejoy's picture

I loved the movie the Color Purple, Oprah was outstanding in it. I love the quotes here and remember them very well.Glad you printed them to share with others..