Shug Avery
Michelle Williams as Shug Avery
Michelle Williams as Shug Avery

"Celie, she say, Do you love me? She down on her knees by now, tears falling all over the place. My heart hurt so much I can't believe it. How can it keep beating, feeling like this? But I'm a woman. I love you, I say. Whatever happen, whatever you do, I love you" (Walker 121).

Basic Biography--

Name: Shug Avery
Occupation: Blues Singer

Shug Avery is an unconventional type of woman, especially in rural Georgia. She is a famous singer and became independent from a young age. She is a very flighty lover but she comes back to the ones she loves- when she grows sick, it is Mr. _ that takes her in and though she hates Celie at first, they grow to be friends and develop a relationship together. It is Shug who encourages Celie to break away from Mr. __and takes her to Tennessee, where she opens her pants sewing business. Shug can never stay in one place or with one lover for long, however and Celie has to learn to be independent even from Shug.


  • Self-discovery
While Shug herself is very self-aware from the very first mention of her, she grows as a person through knowing Celie because it allows her to be protective of someone who needs her so badly and she is a very good influence on Celie's self-esteem. Shug teaches Celie about her own body, about spirituality and encourages her to discover herself and the world. Essentially, she is the foil of Celie because she represents freedom from a patriarchal society in which women are condemned as less than beings, less than men. She is a life-giver to Celie and an essential part of the novel.

However, it wasn't just Celie who discovers themselves through Shug Avery, Shug Avery discovers herself throughout the novel. Through seeing Celie's humility, she is able to grow from being purely superficial into being able to see the value of a person through their personality and not just their looks. She encourages Squeak to follow her dreams and begins to help other characters as well.
  • Cultural Differences
Shug Avery is beautiful and glamorous and she knows it. She takes pleasure in life and does more or less whatever she want and behaves, according to the time period's society standards, like a man. Shug doesn't let people boss her around and this is a cultural difference because Celie would never dream of acting the way Shug does.

--page by Jacqui Wunderlich