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'The Color Purple' Quotes

Alice Walker's Famous Controversial Banned Book

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The Color Purple is an Pulitzer-Prize-winning epistolary novel by Alice Walker. The book has sparked controversy and applause for its chosen topics as well as for the way it represents African-American life--particularly for a young woman--in the 1930s. Here are a few quotes from the novel.
  • "He start to choke me, saying You better shut up and git used to it. But I don't never git used to it. And now I feels sick every time I be the one to cook."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 1

  • "But me, never again. A girl at church say you git big if you bleed every month. I don't bleed no more."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 1

  • "Well, next time you come you can look at her. She ugly. Don't even look like she kin to Nettie. But she'll make the better wife. She aint smart either, and I'll just be fair, you have to watch her or she'll give away everything you own. But she can work like a man."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 1

  • "I don't say nothing. I think bout Nettie, dead. She fight, she run away. What good it do? I don't fight, I stay where I'm told. But I'm alive."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 1

  • "Well how you spect to make her mind? Wives is like children. You have to let 'em know who got the upper hand. Nothing can do that better than a good sound beating."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 1

  • "Us three set together gainst Tobias and his fly speck box of chocolate. For the first time in my life, I feel just right."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 1

  • "First time somebody made something and name it after me."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 1

  • "All the men got they eyes glued to Shug's bosom. I got my eyes glued there too. I feel my nipples harden under my dress. My little button sort of perk up too. Shug, I say to her in my mind, Girl, you looks like a real good time, the Good Lord knows you do."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 2

  • "When I see Sofia I don't know why she still alive. They crack her skull, they crack her ribs. They tear her nose loose on one side. They blind her in one eye. She swole from head to foot. Her tongue the size of my arm, it stick out tween her teef like a piece of rubber. She can't talk. And she just about the color of a eggplant."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 2

  • "They calls me yellow / like yellow be my name / They calls me yellow / Like yellow be my name / But if yellow is a name / Why aint black the same / Well, if I say Hey black girl / Lord, she try to ruin my game"
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 2

  • "White folks is a miracle of affliction, say Sofia."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 3

  • "And when I come here, say Shug, I treated you so mean. Like you was a servant. And all because Albert married you. And I didn't even want him for a husband, she say. I never really wanted Albert for a husband. But just to choose me, you know, cause nature had already done it. Nature said, You two folks, hook up, cause you a good example of how it sposed to go. I didn't' want nothing to be able to go against that. But what was good tween us must have been nothing but bodies, she say. Cause I don't know the Albert that don't dance, can't hardly laugh, never talk bout nothing, beat you and hid your sister Nettie's letters. Who he? I don't know nothing, I think. And glad of it."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 3

  • "Oh, Celie, there are colored people in the world who want us to know! Want us to grow and see the light! They are not all mean like Pa and Albert, or beaten down like ma was. Corrine and Samuel have a wonderful marriage. Their only sorrow in the beginning was that they could not have children. And then, they say, 'God' sent them Olivia and Adam."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 3

  • "The boys now accept Olivia and Tashi in class and more mothers are sending their daughters to school. The men do not like it: who wants a wife who knows everything her husband knows? they fume. But the women have their ways, and they love their children, even their girls."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 4

  • "Oh Celie, unbelief is a terrible thing. And so is the hurt we cause others unknowingly. Pray for us."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 4

  • "Yeah, I say, and he give me a lynched daddy, a crazy mama, a lowdown dog of a step pa and a sister I probably won't ever see again. Anyhow, I say, the God I been praying and writing to is a man. And act just like all the other mens I know. Trifling, forgetful and lowdown."
    - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Part 4

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