Letter 45

Synopsis of Letter 45

Shug reappears for a Christmas visit to Albert and Celie, bringing them a surprise - a new dark blue Packard and her new husband, Grady. He is skinny, with big teeth and both Albert and Celie dislike him on sight, although Shug does not notice their jealousy.

Commentary on Letter 45

The story now shifts back to the relationship between Celie and Shug. The reappearance of the singer reawakens Celie's interest in herself and her appearance, although initially she feels plain and insignificant again. Both Albert and Celie are hurt at being displaced by Grady, yet Shug seems totally oblivious.

Note here the way in which Shug takes charge of everyone, ordering Grady about, telling Albert he must learn to drive and behaving in rather a masculine way. She is obviously successful and wealthy, but her behaviour here is not considerate, especially towards Celie.

Investigating Letter 45

  • Begin a new character sheet for Grady on a page of A4 paper
  • Why do you think Shug behaves in such an inconsiderate way when she comes back to Albert’s home?
  • How is the male-female power balance shifting at this point in the novel?
Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.