Summary and Analysis Letters 68-69


The discovery that Fonso is not her father stuns Celie. Her sense of the family unit has been negated. She must mourn for her unknown, natural father, killed unjustly, and a mother who was both demented and weak, and Celie must also accept the fact that she was the victim of a sick and abusive stepfather. But, despite everything, Celie is able to state happily, "My children not my sister and brother." Celie was not the victim of incest.

Celie is strong enough now to confront Fonso. She has already confronted Albert's authority; now she takes on Fonso. Not only does her decision to do so reveal Celie's new strength, but it also shows that she is a Christian. Celie offers Fonso an opportunity to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Fonso, however, has no apology for Celie; time has not altered his character. In fact, at his advanced age, he has taken a fifteen-year-old wife because Celie's stepmother, May Ellen — in Fonso's words — "got too old" for him.

The imagery of flowers and spring is extensive here. The new pants outfits that Shug and Celie wear have blue floral prints. Celie writes, "Then all along the road there's Easter lilies and jonquils and daffodils and all kinds of little early wildflowers." Spring, rebirth, blooming, and the idea of beauty color Celie's life. Fonso's young wife's name is Daisy, and Shug's real name is Lilly. The world is full of wonder and possibility and beauty, but even the once-naive Celie realizes that her new world is not perfect, nor will it ever be. At the makeshift cemetery, there are weeds as well as flowers.

Letter 69 is the first letter that Celie has addressed directly to Nettie. Celie not only believes "on faith" in Nettie's existence now, but she knows that Nettie is alive, just as Celie knows that she herself is alive.