Celie is an African American woman living in Georgia in the early 20th century. She suffers decades of abuse as she struggles to find love and friendship in her life.
Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.
Margaret Atwood (born 1939) is an award winning Canadian poet, novelist, and literary critic. In “Morning in the Burned House,” Atwood paints a dream-like picture through her use of symbolism and metaphor, describing a speaker who imagines her childhood as a burned house.
In “Advice to the ‘Newly Married Lady’” (1808), a doctor from the 19th century advises new wives to defer to their husbands.
In “Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases,” historical activist Ida B. Wells discusses the injustice and horrors of Southern lynch laws, focusing on the violence against African Americans following the Civil War.
In this poem, a speaker uses figurative language to describe the exceptional qualities of their love.
This informational text summarizes the European and American colonization and plundering of Africa, as well as Africans’ resistance and eventual independence movements.
In Li-Young Lee’s poem “From Blossoms,” the speaker describes eating peaches in the summertime.
In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use,” a daughter comes home for a family visit with a new understanding of her heritage.
In Gwendolyn Brooks’ short story “Home,” a family may be forced to leave their home.