Journal Postings

Group C

02/21/02 (The Color Purple)

 

Rachel Mack

The website I found was http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/purple.html

I thought this site was interesting because it had some questions at the beginning relating instances in The Color Purple to society and how it was run.  The next section of the site gives different links about places that give information about Alice Walker.  And the last section gives links to different sites about women’s writings and African Americans’ writings and also other African American women writers to study.

The thing that struck me the most about our section of the reading is the fact that we switch from reading about how black men are mean and mean to their wives and children to seeing how the men are not all mean and how things can get better in life.  I am talking about the family that Nettie encountered as she went back into town.  She came across the family of Samuel, Corrine, Olivia, and Adam.  Nettie describes them as the ideal family.  They include her in almost everything and treat her like family.  She describes Samuel and Corrine marriage as wonderful.  The only flaw was their not being able to have children.  This is where another twist in the story comes in.  Nettie figures out that the two children are Celie’s.  It was described a miracle that they were taken out of the life they would have had and put into a caring and loving home so they could lead good healthy lives.  It was almost as if God was making life a little better for Celie by giving her children a good life.

Another switch in the book was when Nettie was describing to Celie about how colored were living up North.  How in some cases, they were even living better than the whites were down back home.  She described about how they drove around the fancy cars like the whites did at home and how they were generous and were very well dressed.  Another factor that came into play this section was the whole thing about religion.  Nettie was living with a missionary family and they were going to be missionaries in Africa and there was a lot of talk about the bible and religion in general.  It makes Walker’s quote about the book being one of religious journey more believable.

The website I found was http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/purple.html

I thought this site was interesting because it had some questions at the beginning relating instances in The Color Purple to society and how it was run.  The next section of the site gives different links about places that give information about Alice Walker.  And the last section gives links to different sites about women’s writings and African Americans’ writings and also other African American women writers to study.

 

Amanda Mills

I choose this site not only as a reference to my response, but also as a study guide because it provides great info on this book.

http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/purple.html

I wasn't quite sure on which pages I was to discuss so I'll just talk about the letters from Nettie and how it affects Celie.

These letters were found just when Celie was not liking men anyways. the fact that Mr._____ hid them makes her hate him more and look to Shug for comfort. This of course leads to other things like the news that her kids are not got by incest. This leads to a reunion with her father which makes her dislike men even more. Then she turns to Shug for her only support. The letters from Nettie become like God to Celie and when she starts to write to Nettie instead of God it almost as if she doesn't she her sister as a real person but a image far away. Shug is there the whole while helping Celie hate men and love Shug more. This is when the major parts of homosexuality come into play which, although it is throughout the entire book, is major here.

I choose this site not only as a reference to my response, but also as a study guide because it provides great info on this book.

http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/purple.html

Magdalena Perz

http://www.bethel.edu/~letnie/AfricanChristianity/Sub-SaharaHomepage.html .

I decided to have a website that would show the work of missionaries sent to Africa.

I think that the first thing that struck me about the black society portrayed in the book was the level of their ignorance. It is obvious that being deprived of a normal education, they were likely to know nothing about Africa or grammatical structures of sentences. However, I never thought about yet another kind of knowledge they evidently lacked. The characters weren’t at all aware of themselves, not to mention other people. As far as I noticed, they were completely unaware of someone’s intentions. How could they defend themselves if they didn’t even realize that someone was going to hurt them?

Besides, hierarchy was another interesting thing presented in “The Color Purple”. It is beyond doubt that the black people lived in the world where the power of the white was dominant. Yet the fact that there was a certain chain of power even among themselves is worth noticing. I regard the patriarchal relationship as the most prevailing. The bond between Mr ____ and his father is a good example of that phenomenon.

What is more, it cannot be denied that the whole theme is centered around suffering, both physical and mental. Consequently, we can see different ways of coping with miserable state of affairs. Some characters decided to accept it, some tried to rebel against it. But was caught my attention was the statement of Celie: “ I don’t know nothing. And glad of it”. I think that Celie came up with one more option how to survive: ignorance, naivety, avoiding analyzing or contemplating things can make you less prone to any harm, because you just cannot see it or you just don’t realize that it could have been different, that this is not the way things should be.

I must admit that I’m not a fan of epistolary novels. However, there are some details in the text, associated with the literary technique, that I like. Sometimes, owing to two writers of the letters, we could see one incident from two different perspectives. Such was the case with Sofia and the mayor’s wife. The event was not only described, but also judged according to two different points of view. Nettie considered the maid, i.e. Sofia to be the bad heroine- hostile and unfriendly. She almost praised the mayor and his spouse for taking Sofia out of jail.

Furthermore, I find it quite interesting how ingeniously Walker interwove certain facts with fiction. Thanks to it, apart from following the character’s lives, the reader can explore the context, which bore many similarities with the historical, social and political situation in those times. As if in between the lines we learn about the racial segregation on the public transport (the voyage) or the unfair exploitation of the African tribes and their own land by the European colonizers. It is beyond doubt that hundreds of actual ethnic communities underwent such misfortune as the fictional Olinka group.

http://www.bethel.edu/~letnie/AfricanChristianity/Sub-SaharaHomepage.html .

I decided to have a website that would show the work of missionaries sent to Africa.

Jennifer Peterson

 

Lori Pongtana

websites: FGM - http://www.religioustolerance.org/fem_circ.htm  

Facial scarification - www.danheller.com/images/Africa/Montage/Slideshow/img15.html

The section for Thursday's reading seemed to take on a totally different theme.  Alice Walker has begun to incorporate Nettie, Celie's sister, and her travels in Africa as part of a missions trip.  It is interesting how Celie now begins to write to Nettie, someone she knows, instead of just God.  Nettie seems to be refined, educated, and literate.  After running away from home, she was actually able to prosper and survive being on her own.  I wonder if Celie would have had the same opportunities as Nettie did if she would have been able to escape the typical life of a young black women in the south.

One part of Nettie's letters that intrigued me was the mentioning of celebrating womanhood.  I discovered that two procedures that are quite popular are facial scarification and female genital mutilation.  I have heard of these practices before and was wondering how common they are in present-day Africa.  As for FGM, there are actually several different ways that young girls genitals are severed, removed, or mutilated. Some of the methods sound so horrible.  One method, called infibulation, is when the genital area is cut and then sewn so only a small opening is left for bodily functions.  Surprisingly, FGM is a social practice.  It is repulsive to think that such young girls, ages 8 and on, are forced to be cut with unclean knives and no anesthetic as soon as they reach womanhood.  I was shocked to learn that there may be over 100 million women have gone through the procedure!

Facial scarification does not seem to be any less painful.  I learned that besides the fact that it is oulawed, African women are currently still fighting for their right to not be cut.  In the book, Nettie was able to protect Olivia at least because she was not a member of the Olinka.  Tashi was not.  It seems that she will have no choice in the future but to undergo it all.  I think Walker is making a point to show that black women, whether they are in the United States or in Africa, were dehumanized either through rape and beatings or through cuts and scars.  The point made in both situations though is that everything is based on culture and society.  Hopefully women in the United States and Africa can begin to fight back for the right to protect their bodies.

Women in both situations in the story, Celie and Tashi seemed to be representative of the way women were supposed to act.  They were submissive, obedient, and considered property to either their husband or people.  Shug and Nettie seemed to be the freedom fighters.  They are the ones who decided to take control of their lives.  I admire every character in the book for their strength in whatever situation they are in.  Walker has done a marvelous job of showing how each women's background developed them into the way they behave.

websites: FGM - www.religioustolerance.org/fem_cirm.htm

Facial scarification - www.danheller.com/images/Africa/Montage/Slideshow/img15.html

 

Nicole Radde

 

Darin Riffle

http://aawn1.tripod.com/ African American Women’s Network

In chapter six I would have to say the thing that is most apparent to me would have to be the fact that the women in africa also have zero rights.  I know that for the longest time women were repressed throughout the world but there is change that needs to take place and the two of them nettie and celie are examples of what change really is,and the two of them are striving for it just on two different continents.  Also in the chapter the true father is revealed.  That Samuel actually adopted the children is a relief I would have to say for the sisters since no incest has occurred. In chapter seven Alphonso reveals to celie that the father was lynched and it was to horrible to reveal to the sisters.  Over in Africa at this time Nettie decides to reveal to samuel and corrine that celie is their mother.  One thing that really stuck out to me though is that Corrine finally decides to want to get away from Mr. __ and she stands up to him and tells him off.

This is the website I found related to the reading:

http://aawn1.tripod.com/

 

What have you done to deliberately underachieve your God-given potential?

Failed to educate myself
Missed windows of opportunity
Habitual procrastination
Childhood trauma as an excuse
Too dependent on others
Chosen unsupportive partner
Cling to bad relationship
Indulge in bad habits
Failed to act on advice
No focus, no plans

 

Steven Roach

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/index.shtml

The Web page I have chosen is The history of Africa.  This discusses the many missionaries that have came to Africa including the first ones in 1490. Then it goes on to discuss the white missions in the 19th century and the first black missions in the 19th century.  At the begining of the readings we find out that Albert has been hiding Nettie's letters.  They end up finding them and getting them out of his trunk.  One thing that I found very intresting is the cleverness of the girls to open the letters by using the steam from the kettle and then thinking to just put back the envelopes so Albert will think that they are still there.  After they find the letters that is basically what the begining part of these pages are is letters from Nettie to Celie.  Nettie decides to go with Corrine and Sammuel on a missionary.  They seem to have a hard time meshing with the people in Africa because they are not used to blacks coming as missionaries.  But there are some positives that come during these pages with the meeting of Samual and Corrie they take Nettie under their wing and help her and educate her.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/index.shtml  

 

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