Letter 26

Synopsis of Letter 26

As Shug begins to recover, the relationship between the two women becomes more intimate. Celie looks after Shug as if she were her own mother or daughter, helping Shug to feel ‘mothered’ and relaxed. Shug composes a blues tune inspired by Celie combing her hair.

Commentary on Letter 26

The intimacy between the two women begins to have an effect on Celie’s values and her judgement of life. Initially Celie feels she should not listen to Shug’s tune because it is ‘dirty’, but as their relationship progresses it is Shug who teaches her that sexual love is not dirty but something joyful.

Both women are reminded of looking after close family members, like children, mothers and grandmothers, yet ironically neither Celie nor Shug have enjoyed close family relationships in the past.

Investigating Letter 26

  • Why do you think Celie feels that Shug's tune is sinful?
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