Letter 30

Synopsis of Letter 30

Celie goes to visit Sofia and finds her working on the roof of her house. Sofia confesses that she is growing tired of her marriage and Harpo’s obsession with making her obey him, like a dog. Although she still loves her husband she has lost interest in sex because Harpo has no thought for Sofia’s pleasure, only his own. She has decided to take the children and move out to her sister, Odessa’s house.

Celie is shocked, but also envies Sofia for having a refuge and regrets that her sister Nettie is no longer part of her life.

Commentary on Letter 30

Celie hears Sofia’s point of view, which balances that of Harpo in letter 29. Sofia’s confession that sex is unsatisfying because it lacks ‘heartfeeling’ engages the reader’s sympathy.

Celie’s ingrained conventionality means she is shocked that Sofia plans to leave Harpo. Throughout the novel the mutual support of women is stressed, particularly the love between sisters. This is what makes Celie so envious and the loss of her sister Nettie so poignant.

Investigating Letter 30

  • Note the differences between Sofia and Celie’s responses to lovemaking with their respective husbands.
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