Just as Albert and Celie earlier befriended Shug from the town gossips, now Shug, Celie, Squeak, and Odessa mean to defend Sofia. These women have witnessed and suffered great pain through years of degrading injustice in their own lives, but they have been able, somehow, to cope with it, and now they realize that Sofia can no longer cope by herself. Celie says, "When I see Sofia, I don't know why she still alive." Sofia's spirit has been broken by the whites. It is almost miracle-like that she manages to stay alive. Touchingly, and yet humorously, Sofia tells Celie that the only way that she survives is by acting "like I'm you. I jump right up and do just what they say." Sofia endures — but just barely. She has become a non-entity in order to survive. It is totally unexpected that Squeak — Little Miss Mouse — is chosen to be the strongest link in the
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