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As well as being the instrument by which Celie attains economic independence, the needle is also a symbol of non-violent protest against men.
Page: 51 and 125
If needles are a non-violent protest against men and the patriarchal – male-dominated – system, then razors are the opposite. On page fifty-three, Shug smiles "like a razor opening" at Tobias, Mr. _______’s visiting brother, but then settles down to sew with Celie. Later on, Celie looks about ready to cut Mr. _______’s throat after he hides Nettie’s letters. Shug however manages to appease her. The razor is then an age-old retaliation, that thankfully is later superseded by sewing, a more passive though ironically more powerful substitute.
Pages: 51, 103 and 125
The Color Purple