In the Exposition of The Color Purple, the relationship between Celie and Shug begins purely from a picture. With this picture, Celie for the first time feels attraction and love towards another human being other than Nettie. She can now refer to something as beautiful and this is a large stepping stone from her emotionless state largely caused by the men in her life.
In the Rising action, Celie also makes out in her head what Shug is like as a person. When Shug and Celie first meet, Shug is nothing like what Celie had made her out to be. Shugs first words that came out of her mouth were “you sure is ugly” to Celie. Despite this, they get to know each other more and they grow closer to one another. Celie opens up to Shug and Shug finds out the true nature of Mr.___ and Celie’s marriage. She sees how Celie is really treated by Mr._____ and grows closer to Celie in this part of the book.
In the Climax, Celie and Shug exhibit a lesbian relationship. As can be seen with the two sucking on eachothers breast, they share a very close relationship that is more than just sex. To Celie, her relationship with Shug is important because Shug makes her feel important. She gives Celie a sense of identity and also makes her feel sexually, physically, and emotionally more comfortable. Shug helps Celie get out of her emotionless state.
In the resolution of The Color Purple, Celies relationship with Shug seems to become strained. This is not the case though. Although Shug has her eye on another man, Germaine, she still loves Celie. Similarly, Celie loves Shug as much as she did before Germaine came along. There ability to love eachother even after Shug is sexually involved with another person shows the extent of their love. Celie although dreading Shug and Germaine’s relationship, cares enough for Shug to let her live a little.
• Symbol:motherhood, mentor
• Shug acts like a mother to Celie because she is the primary reason why Celie gains a sense of self identity and importance in the book. Through Shugs, mentoring and love, Celie was able to grow into an independent self thinking individual. Celie is now a stronger person because of Shug's influence.
Self Identity: "This song I'm bout to sing is call Miss Celie's song."(73) Shug gives Celie a sense of self identity. She names her after a song.
Celie and Shug’s relationship is very significant because it helps Celie the weak, submissive girl grow into the independent free thinking woman by the end of the book. The relationship Shug and Celie had made Celie feel important. The relationship boosted Celie’s confidence, and empowered her to be that independent woman.