The bed is a battle ground. Lots of couples know the whirlpool of feelings here, when relationship stand-offs get played out in bed. I feel like this is one of those marriage skirmishes that happens before lights out. The couple try to sleep but issues are unresolved. Tensions are magnified as this is their private shared space, their bed, a place normally associated with warmth and intimacy. Something in their positions and Celie’s cross face leads me to thinking that her’s is the greater determination to punish. Ab isn’t going to turn round for a cuddle tonight – she’s going to withhold affection, one feels, at least until breakfast.