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Celie --The protagonist of the novel, Celie is abused and neglected her entire life. Her children are taken away from her, her sister gone and she is forced to become a child wife. She is a dynamic character who changes drastically during the novel from a humble, meek little girl to a woman who is sure of herself in her own right.
Harpo -- Harpo is Albert's son and is married to Sofia. Although he despises Celie in the beginning, he grows to like her and he shows the cycle of abuse because although Harpo is a more feminine man and loves Sofia, he feels obligated to beat her to make her listen to him simply because he sees how his father treats Celie.
Sofia -- Sofia is the wife of Harpo, Albert's son, and she is in many ways a complete foil of Celie. She is larger than her husband and is shown to take on many traditionally male roles in the household and refuses to allow herself to be beaten by Harpo because she is a strong, independent woman. However, her stubbornness and her pride wind up getting her in a lot of trouble.
Shug Avery -- Shug Avery is larger than life, a star. Yet she is the center of a lot of controversy in the novel because she is Albert's mistress even though he has a wife. Despite this, she befriends Celie and they develop a relationship over time which gives Celie the self-confidence to break free from the abuse she's been through and realize her own dream. She, too, is a foil of Celie.
Mr. ___ -- Albert, known to Celie only as Mr. ___, is the antagonist of the novel, he starts off as a stock character because he appears to be senselessly cruel, an oppressor and downright evil to Celie and to Nettie. He constantly abuses and neglects her and even hides Nettie's letters from Celie. However, he proves himself to be a dynamic character when he is able to make an effort to be a better person and even befriend Celie and earn her forgiveness for all the horrors he caused her.
Nettie -- Nettie is Celie's younger sister, whom Celie sacrificed her own happiness for. Although Nettie and Celie grew up in the same household, Nettie gets away and manages to become a missionary in Africa and becomes educated. Despite this, she learns that life for women in Africa isn't so different from the lives of women at home, such as the life Celie is living. Part of the novel is set from her point of view when Celie finally obtains Nettie's letters after years and years.