The Color Purple

Describe Sofia's physical appearance and her character.

Letters 9-17

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Sofia Butler

Harpo meets Sofia in church when she is fifteen, but even at that age, she is "strong and ruddy looking." She is confident and not intimidated by men who think they have power over her. She is loyal and devoted to Harpo, but when he starts treating her badly, she does what she thinks is best and leaves him. She has huge support from her sisters and looks like she has potential to be successful--she is practical and strong willed--but she has a fiery temper. After she is put in jail, she loses her fighting spirit. She also is changed after her time at Miss Millie’s; she resents white people and the way she has been treated, and she retreats into a shell. When she gets back together with Harpo at the end of the novel, we see a gleam of hope that she might find her spirit again.