In the novel, The Color Purple, there are three main characters who demonstrate meaningful traits of women. Celie, the main character, is the most important of the three. She is influenced by other characters in the novel and is inspired to let herself seek their virtues. Celie's two friends, Shug and Sofia, are both strong women who teach Celie how to achieve the happiness she desires.
Sofia is a woman with authority in her life. Her life has been a constant struggle and can no longer endure conflict. She is strong physically and that gives her confidence in herself. The only opinion of any value to her is her own. Sofia is very upset with Celie when she tells Harpo to beat her and she reveals to Celie details of her painful past. 'All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. But I never thought I'd have to fight in my own house. I loves Harpo. God knows I do. But I'll kill him dead before I let him beat me.'; (42). Sofia can no longer tolerate this kind of abuse and she thought that when she married Harpo she had finally escaped it.
Later Celie admits that she told Harpo to beat her because she is jealous of Sofia. Celie is jealous because Sofia can fight back and she knows she can't. Sofia tells Celie how she feels sorry for her because Celie reminds her of her mother and how she never could stand up against her father. Just seeing Sofia in control gives Celie hope in getting control in her own life.
Sofia does not live up to the standards of being a wife because she has a voice in her relationship with Harpo and most women allow their husbands to manipulate them. People just accept how she lives because she has a strong opinion of herself and is ready to argue it with anyone at anytime. One day, during a meal, Harpo warns Squeak not to laugh because it was bad luck for a woman to laugh. Sofia laughs in his face saying, 'I already had my bad luck. I had enough to keep me laughing for the rest of my life.'; (208). Sofia has no trouble expressing herself at the expense of others, especially men.
Shug is a woman who does whatever she wants whenever she wants. She is a free spirit but she does have values and is a major contributor in the transformation of Celie. Shug enjoys her life and tries to spread the happiness to those around her. She is aware of her own physical beauty and uses it to control men. For women like Celie, it isn't that easy. Celie's father tells Albert, 'She ugly. She ain't smart either.'; (9). This is where Celie develops her low self esteem. Shug tries to make Celie realize that she is a beautiful person by getting to know her and loving her.
Shug is an admirable woman because of her ability to love others. She tells...