Summary and Analysis Letter 86


However far apart Nettie and Celie have been, they have managed to remain spiritual twins. Nearly thirty years have passed. Nettie doesn't know if Celie is even alive, but the memory and the emotions associated with Celie are alive — and that's what matters. In a similar way, the "image" of God is no longer important to Nettie. She doesn't think of God as a gentle old white man; instead, God is different, she tells Celie. He is "more spirit than ever before . . . not being tied to what God looks like, frees us."

An unfortunate aspect of Nettie's not having received Celie's letters is that she does not know that Fonso has died and that they are heirs to the land. Nettie thinks that she and Celie will be poor for many more years, and that it "will be years no doubt before we even own a home." But Nettie never loses hope and the dream of reunion with Celie. The words of their letters bind them together, and the words of their prayers for one another's well-being make their love for one another even stronger.