In the exposition, Celie is envious and jealous of Sofia’s strong character. She can stand up to any man, and she refuses to have her freedoms taken away by Harpo. Because Celie is jealous of Sofia, she advises Harpo, the husband, to beat Sofia. With this, Sofia puts down Celie on how she is weak and submissive. Celie and Sofia's relationship at this point is important because in this instant, Sofia challenges Celie to be a stronger individual.
In the Rising action, Celie and Sofia come to support each other. Their relationship improves because Celie finds out why Harpo is eating so much, something that Sofia does not know. She figures out that Harpo is eating so much so he can be bigger than Sofia and establish his dominance over her. Celie finds out because she is worried about Sofia. Sofia and Harpo seperate after this because Sofia can no longer take the beatings.
In the Climax, the two become closer because now they are on the same level. Sofia is a prisoner and she is degraded as a person. She is not herself anymore and she says that she is like Miss Celie now. Through this Celie realizes that she can’t be submissive anymore. No woman can thrive if she is submissive as can be seen in the case of Sofia who was a completely changed person. This is a factor that helps give Celie the strength to strive to be a more stronger person.
In the resolution, their relationship is even further improved because when Albert and Celie have a family dinner where Sofia is present, Celie curses out Albert and what he has done to her. Celie curses Albert for his abuse all these years and for his act of hiding the letters. Sofia comes to appreciate Celie at this point in the book because for once, Celie stands up for herself, something that she was never capable of in the beginning of the book. In a sense, Celie was acting like Sofia in this event.
An appropriate symbol for the relationship shared by Celie and Sofia is empowerment. Throughout the book, Sofia is a role model to Celie because she is so strong willed. She will not let any man or woman bring her down. On the other hand, Celie is just the opposite, she is submissive and men have brought her character down. Sofia is a primary example of strong character and in the family dinner season, with all the gained confidence that she obtains from other characters such as Shug, she emulates Sofia and curses out Albert for all the wrong he has done in the relationship. "You a low down dog is what's wrong, I say. It's time to leave you and enter into the Creation. And your dead body just the welcome mat I need."(199)