31 Important 'The Color Purple' Quotes From The Book And Movie

Luca Demetriou
Dec 12, 2023 By Luca Demetriou
Originally Published on Feb 16, 2021
Children sitting in row and reading books at the park

'The Color Purple' is a hard-hitting story of the suppression and repression that Black American women experienced in the southern United States in the '30s.

It is the tale of Cellie, who is abused by her father and goes on to be used, battered, and beaten by other men in her life. 'The Color Purple', authored by Alice Walker, has taken much inspiration from her real-life too.

But we cannot call it semi-autobiographical. It is called ‘The Color Purple’ because of the dialogue in the last part of the novel by Shug in which she says, “[it annoys] God...if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

'The Color Purple' is an epistolary novel, which means it is written in letters or notes. This novel doesn’t follow regular writing schemes, but it is written in the form of undated letters.

Each chapter is a letter, and as we read along, we realize that it is set in '30s southern United States. ‘The Color Purple’ is based on Black American women’s hardships in their family itself.

The Black American women face domestic violence, incest, pedophilia, racism, and sexism throughout their lives in their own houses.

The book 'The Color Purple' was criticized for some of its explicit scenes and violence, but Alice Walker went on to win a Pulitzer for Fiction and National Book Award for Fiction. The book is adapted in a movie starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Desreta Jackson, Margit Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Rae Dawn Chong, Willard Pugh, and Adolph Caesar.

Enjoy these 'The Color Purple quotes' below, and you can also read Alice Walker quotes and Toni Morrison quotes.

Insightful Quotes From 'The Color Purple'

There is a musical based on the story of 'The Color Purple' by Marsha Norman. It takes Cellie’s journey further.

The musical also went on to be a success and stars some of the biggest names like Dana Ivey, John Patton Jr., Margaret Avery, Adolph Caesar, Willard E Pugh, Card Anderson, Leonard Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Susan Beaubian, Phillip Strong, Lelo Masamba, Bennet Guillory, Jeris Poindexter, James Tillis, Dannie Glover, and Whoopie Goldberg amongst many others.

The movie version was directed by Steven Spielberg.

As a result the quotations from 'The Color Purple' are still extremely popular. Here are some of the best 'The Color Purple' book quotes to help you pick your favorite line from 'The Color Purpe'.


1. “Girl, you oughta bash mister’s head open and think about heaven later.”

- Sofia.

2. “Don’t let them run over you...you got to fight.”

- Nettie.

3. “Folks don’t like nobody being too proud, or too free.”

- Cellie.

4. “I think it [annoys] God...if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

- Alice walker, ‘The Color Purple’.

5. “Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.”

- Alice Walker, ‘The Color Purple’.

6. “A grown child is a dangerous thing.”

- Alice Walker, ‘The Color Purple’.

7. “It must have been a pathetic exchange. Our chief never learned English beyond an occasional odd phrase he picked up from Joseph, who pronounces “English” “Yanglush.”

- Nettie.

8. “Well, us talk and talk about God, but I’m still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking about him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it does that?) not the color purple (where it come from?)...”

- Celie.

9. “Us sleep like sisters, me and Shug.”

- Celie.

10. “Mr._______ marry me to take care of his children. I marry him cause my daddy made me. I don’t love Mr.________ and he don’t love me.”

- Celie.

11. “Hard not to love Shug, I say. She know how to love somebody back.”

- Celie.

12. “I don’t like to go to bed with him no more, she [Sofia] say. Used to be when he touch me I’d go all out my head. Now when he touch me I just don’t want to be bothered.”

- Sofia.

13. “I had enough bad luck to keep me laughin’ the rest of my life. Sat in that jail. I sat in that jail til I nearby done rot to death. I know what it like, Ms. Celie, to wanna go somewhere and cain’t.”

- Sofia.

14. “The jail you plan for me is the one your gonna rot in.”

- Celie.

15. “Everything you’ve done to me; I’ve already done to you.”

- Celie.

16. “Celie, you has my sympathy. Ain’t many women allow they husband’s ho to lay up in they house.”

- Old Mister.

17. “See Daddy, sinners have souls, too.”

- Shug Avery.

18. “Celie: [to Shug] He beat me when you ain’t here.

Shug: Who do? Albert?

Celie: Mister.

Shug: Why he do that?

Celie: He beat me for not being you.”

- 'The Color Purple.'

'The Color Purple' Movie Quotes

The movie 'The Color Purple' was also a hit. The film was nominated for as many as 11 Academy Awards nominations. Surprisingly, the movie’s director Mr. Steven Spielberg was not selected for the director’s award. Here are some of the best 'The Color Purple' Celie quotes as well as 'The Color Purple' quotes from other characters for you.

19. “Sofia: Now you want a dead son-in-law, Miss Celie? You keep on advisin him like you doin.

Celie: Dis life be ova soon. Heaven last always.

Sofia: Girl, you betta bash Mister’s head open and think about Heaven later.”

-'The Color Purple.'

20. “All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles.

I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men. But I ain’t never thought I’d have to fight in my own house! I loves Harpo, God knows I do. But I’ll kill him dead ‘fo I let him beat me!”

- Sofia.

21. “Nothing but death will keep me from it.”

- Nettie.

22. “White folks is a miracle of affliction.”

-  Sofia.

23. “I am making some pants for you to beat the heat in Africa. Soft, white, thin. Drawstring waist. You won’t ever have to feel too hot and overdress again. I plan to make them by hand. Every stich I sew will be a kiss.”

- Celie.

24. “Oh Celie, unbelief is a terrible thing. And so is the hurt we cause others unknowingly. Pray for us.”

- 'The Color Purple.'

25. “The world is changing. It is no longer just a place for boys and men.”

- Nettie.

26.“Not being tied to what God looks like frees us.”

- Nettie.

27. “You a low-down dog is what’s wrong. It’s time to leave you and enter into the creation. And your dead body just the welcome mat I need.”

- Celie.

28. “I keep hoping he fine somebody to marry. I see him looking at my little sister. She scared. But I say I’ll take care of you. With God help.”

- Celie.

29. “Fact is, I got to get rid of her. She too old to be living here at home. And she a bad influence on my other girls...She ain’t smart either, and I’ll just be fair, you have to watch her or she’ll give away everything you own. But she can work like a man.”

- Pa (Alphonso).

30. “I can’t remember being the first one in my own dress. Now to have one made just for me. I try to tell Kate what it means. I git hot in the face and stutter.”

- Celie.

31. [on leaving the farm in Shug’s car, shouting to Albert] “I’m poor, black, I might even be ugly, but dear God, I’m here. I’m here.”

- Celie.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for The Color Purple quotes, then why not take a look at 'The Bluest Eye' quotes or Zora Neale Hurston quotes.

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Written by Luca Demetriou

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English and Drama, Master of Arts specializing in Performance: Design and Practice

Luca Demetriou picture

Luca DemetriouBachelor of Arts specializing in English and Drama, Master of Arts specializing in Performance: Design and Practice

Experienced in writing and sub-editing, Luca holds a Bachelor's in English Literature and Drama from the University of Birmingham, where he served as the culture editor at Redbrick Paper. He is currently pursuing a Master's in Performance: Design and Practice at the University of the Arts in London, showcasing his passion for the arts, performance, and history. With a keen interest in traveling, Luca enjoys exploring new cultures and experiencing diverse perspectives.

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