1. Names. Proposals back. Talk about Juhnke plenary address and workshop to follow. I need numbers for both, but esp. the second. Pass sheet around.
2. In the news: war is the focus, of course. But other things are going on as well . . .
http://entertainment.msn.com/news/article.aspx?news=114497 On the King of Pop.
http://www.detnews.com/2003/politics/0302/11/a03-81037.htm On the Bush economic plan.
http://www.thenation.com Katha Pollitt on poets against the war.
http://poetsagainstthewar.org/default.htm The Sam Hamill site.
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/10/international/worldspecial/10cnd-dipl.html News from Times on NATO and Security Council opposition to war.
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/07/opinion/07STEV.html Adlai Stevenson III on Powell’s speech, war, and containment.
http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/ Interesting site.
http://www.idleworm.com/nws/2002/11/iraq2.shtml Gulf War 2 game.
3. On Color Purple. I want to be sure that we look closely at some crucial moments of the text, along with considering what it means, what patterns and themes emerge and how they connect with those we’ve been talking about all semester.
Starting point: what do you think are the “big issues” that the book raises and that we ought to talk about? Make a list on board. Sex, religion, gender roles, economics, race, family, work, history, language, violence, abuse, incest, activism, solidarity, love . . . some become more evident as things continue.
about African-American experience in
Among those: nonviolent resistance, as strategy and way of living. How do the disempowered go about claiming power, freedom, self-determination, independence? In one sense, that’s the “problem” that the book poses. Surely Celie is radically disempowered as the book begins.
Having listed all these things, I’d like next to shift to the specific and particular—to examine characters and events and even the style and point of view. Doing that will help us consider the “big issues” more carefully when we circle back to them, I think.
3. Some issues and ideas on Color Purple:
-Opening. Why does the book start the way it does? When the narrator gets raped by her father on the first page, what is left? What’s the purpose? To create a deliberate and radical shock, to set up the conditions under which she has to exist?
-Notice the dialect, as I’m sure you did. “Be” for “is,” or verb left out, also verb endings omitted. Highly economical, and surprisingly expressive, I think. Watch also for changes in the language and form as the book continues: who the letters are addressed to, for example. And different characters speak different dialects.
-Why do you suppose this letter form? Notice the first line in italics. That’s (I think) the only break from the epistolary form. It’s the form of the very first novels, of course, but why use it here? She’s forbidden, of course, to “tell anybody but God.” Who else can she talk to? Esp. after Nettie leaves. The theme of silence and speech, of secrets and threats and the struggle to overcome them.
-In many ways this is a very traditional novel: emphasis on family relationships, generations, change and testing. Even the suspense about Nettie being dead and the grand reunion at the end is straight out of Dickens.
another level, though, it’s also a book about hierarchies: color, money, sex, beauty, education: a poor and ugly
and uneducated black woman is at the very bottom, hmm? How do you act in
that position? How do you survive? What kinds of force can you
-Time and place: when does this take place? Begins in early 20th century, perhaps the 20s, somewhere in the South.
-Marriage, sex, love. 17-18 talking marriage. 21 on her wedding day. 24 Nettie: It’s like seeing you buried. 30: Why he beat me? She my wife. Plus she stubborn. 52 She notices his weak chin. 22-3 Her little girl--the children her father took from her at birth. All throughout a confusion of children, weddings, cohabitations and the like, hmm?
-Harpo and Sofia: a parallel but distinct saga: Sofia who
won’t be pushed around by anyone. 42-3 How to make her mind? Celie
says “Beat her.” Their fights, following; 46 Celie and
-Ways of coping: 25: Nettie says “You’ve got to fight,” Celie says all she knows is to stay alive. 29 Kate, Mr. ------’s sister, says the same thing. 30: “I made myself wood. . . . That’s how come I know trees fear man.” 37: she cares for the children, but feels nothing. Cooking, with Harpo: these people are not destitute, just poor. 47 on Heaven, now or later. And making things: quilt pieces from messed up curtains.
-Shug Avery: 16, 28, 33: Even before Celie meets her she knows there’s something about her, she’s interested more than threatened even when Mr. ---- brings her home. 48-51 she comes, sick. Albert’s his name. 53-55: Why is Celie attracted to Shug? Her looks, her spirit? 58 Mr. -------’s daddy: Celie spits in his water when he talks bad about Shug. That chapter: she starts to feel part of something, even though it’s not something the world would understand: she, Shug, and Mr. -----.
Well, I started Color Purple, and so far I can tell its going to be a tough read. I can understand what's going on easy enough, but the speach is irritating to piece together, I understand that was the dialogue of them time and the author wanted this to be authentic, which is admirable, but this won't be on my "to read" list. The odd this is someone unaware of the book's history may not realize the "the author" is a black woman right away. In fact some of the more dense readers probably never will. Heh. Just kidding. It's also going to be a tough read because the character is being so constantly abused, and not in the fairy tale wicked step sister way either.
Michael Michael Michael...
gad. When is he going to catch on? When the entire
world starts calling you a freak, maybe its time to accept that MAYBE its not
the entire world whose wrong, and MAYBE you are a very messed up, very strange
fellow. Plastic surgery and skin condition aside, you SLEPT WITH CHILDREN. Not
YOUR children, other people's kids. THAT'S WRONG. It's not okay if you didn't
do anything or if you tucked them in and thought it was cute, you an adult male
slept with CHILDREN. We have laws against this for a reason. And no, you can't
bend the law because you think its cute. Instead
of trying to convince the world of what they know is just damn WRONG, you
should let sleeping dogs lie, STOP sleeping with children, and move on with
your life. All he's doing now by trying to convince people's he's a good dad is
pour more gasoline on the media's fire. The media
loves a successful celebrity, but what they love more is to see a successful
celebrity be humiliated.
When I first stared to read The Color Purple I was not sure I was going to like the book because the slang was so hard to interpret, but now i am almost finished. I am really enjoying learning about the life of Celie and the people she encounters throughout her humble and horrible life. Again the only difficulty I have is stumbling over her misspellings and slag speech, but that also makes me enjoy the story more because I can get the full effect of the time and place she is living in. I can't even imagine how Celie survives and stays strong and happy through all the events that happen to her: her babies being sold to another family, her suppose-e+ive "father" raping her, and then making her marry a man that doesn't even want her, and falling in love with her husband's mistress. It is wild! By reading the story of Celie and her family I can get a better glimpse of what life was like at the turn of the century when blacks were beginning to own their own land, but still treating their wives like objects and basically slaves. How can a race that was belittled and beaten for decades do the same to their own kind, especially those who they are suppose to love and share a home with? But I guess we find that in today's society as well. Men beating their wives in submission. Not much has changed.
Moreover, out of
all the characters in the book, I enjoy reading about
Honestly I am a
little tired of hearing about the "upcoming" war with
I read an interesting article Sunday on the Iraqi debate in Fortune magazine. The article seemed to consider Bush weak for not going to war. Its sentiment was that Bush was Just being a pushover, and that he should go to war even though the American people Are not completely convinced, or that the UN was not up for it yet. It made some comparisons To George Sr. The articles was disappointing to me because of its anti-democratic stance That we should go ahead and do whatever we want.
The war on
I read this article, and it still seems very odd that the
Other articles I found have not had many new perspectives. Most rightist and middle of The road papers still say war is inevitable and that NATO needs to get out of the way, Leftist papers still argue adamantly against the war, but the middle ground still seems to sway toward The right wing, which I hope will soon change in light of our controversy. http://www.theonion.com/onion3904/north_dakota.html
The Color Purple has been an easy read. I think this might be a book That really sends its message home after you have the whole thing completed. Cellie’s situation is depressing to read. Her life is controlled by her husband, and she Live’s her life unhappily as a pseudo-heterosexual with her abusive husband and ‘dysfunctional’ family. Yet she seems to be perfectly content. She struggles mostly with other peoples problems, but she seems to be developing and growing as she struggles through her sons problems, and introduction to Shug. Still, it is hard to evaluate this novel with a non-ethnocentric ideal. These people had no better knowledge of what is going on.
I wonder if
Christian Americans ever realized so much about Muslims, or have ever been as
curious to know about their religion as in these times. Certainly as the
terrorists are identified as being Muslim, suddenly the entire Muslim religion
becomes the focal point of how frightened our country is. Our reaction is
understandable, yet ignorant. As two million Muslims headed to
(http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/charity10.html.) I remember sitting in
the Cincinnatti airport with Camerata,
ready to head out for
Now, as for
The first article I read was "Poetry Makes Nothing
Happen? Ask Laura Bush", by Katha
Pollitt. This article was in The
Nation. It talked about how Laura Bush invited poets to the White House
for a conference. One man declined by going, Sam Hamill.
He sent emails to other poets for them to write Sam back and tell how they
oppose the invasion on
The second article that I read up on is "NASA Finds of Left Wing, Avionics Box" This article on Fox News talks about how there was a piece of foam that broke off when the spaceshuttle took off. They said that minutes before lift off, the spaceshuttle's fuel tank broke off and hit the left side of the ship. They feel that this is the cause of the accident that occured on Feburary 1st. After the crash, NASA said that they found what looked like a computer,but it happened to be an avioncis box. This box controls most of the systems of the stuttle. They are still on investigation about this tragedy. I feel that if there was something that could have been fixed before they would have. I feel this was an uncontrolled accident.
The third article come from The Washington Post on "Terrow Attack Steps Urged" This talks about how people need to be safe if something happend that citizens would be in danger during the war. They are saying that we should be stocked with 3 days worth of water and food if anything happened. They are saying how we the citizens should be kept informed. They say that there is a high risk of attack and that we should know what to do. I just feel if there was some kind of way that we can make peace then we wouldn't have to deal with all of this. www.washingtonpost.com
The Color Purple has a very interesting beginning. I had to read the first couple pages over to make sure I was reading it right. I feel it has a different story that I have read before. Celie is the one writing these journal entries. Her mother died when she was very young child,so she had no mother during her teen years. Her father was not kind to her and treated her very badly. It sounded that her father had some to do with her mother's death. Celie got pregnant and she had two children and decided to give them away. Nettie, Celie's sister found a boyfriend just like her father, which is not a good guy in the first place. Celie would tell Nettie to marry this man, so she could get out of the house and away from her father. The father would not let Nettie marry him because she was too young, so Celie, telling the story had to marry him. This is because her father told her too. This man/husband was in love with this singer named Shug Avery. He went to see her and he was gone the whole weekend. He did not care what Celie thought about this whole situation, he just did it anyways. He would beat Celie and treat her like she was nothing. His son, Harpo would ask why he beat Celie and he would say because he was allowed to. He never listened to Celie. She did all the work around the house and it sounded like this man always went out and just had his fun. She would comfort his child when her husband would say mean things to him. She writes that she had a bad childhood and a very bad marriage. The beginning and the middle of the book so far, has been interesting to me and wondering how it was back then. Women got treated so unfairly and they got no respect. I think that is some places women still get treated unfairly and there needs to be a change.
There was is an article on
The New Republic webpage, 'Deaf Ears', by Lawrence F. Kaplan. This article
talks about the current situation with
One of the things that struck me in 'The Color Purple' was when Shug Avery calls Celie's husband Albert and Celie has to take a minute to realize who she is talking about. Another thing that I found interesting is that she is writing to God. Sometimes we take our prayers for granted because we have things to be thankful for and we only pray when we want something. At one point she says that as long as she has God then she is fine. It makes you think about what you would be directing toward God if you were in the same situation.
I believe there was some kind of discussion
or mention in class about how the