Day 12 February 13, 2003


1. Names. What animal would you be?


Collect journals. If you haven’t been yet, well, that’s the way it is. Get them to me asap.


For next time: look especially for religious themes (connected with the title, in particular), and for material related to violence and vengeance.


2. In the news. People: Martin Estrada, LeBron James, that kid who changed his grades on the teacher’s computer. Clara Harris, convicted of running over her husband. Annika Sorenstam, scheduled to play on the men’s golf tour. Fresno lawyer accused of soliciting prostitution. And of course George Bush, Colin Powell, Saddam Hussein . . .


Notice that except for James, I guess, all the rest of these news items have something to do with gender . . . even Estrada, whose views on abortion, which he has refused to specify, are a key issue in his nomination. If we accept the common hypothesis that war is really a male thing, that women would never kill each other in such organized and large-scale ways . . .


3. Continuing with Color Purple: I got wildly disparate responses for today, and want to talk about what that means. But I also want to shift things around a bit. So let’s move around, get into animal groups, and spend a few minutes talking, first. Questions:


Can you sort the female characters into categories, in terms of how they respond to the various types of oppression they face? What might those categories be?


How do the men in this book come off so far?


There is a lot of rather shocking material in this book. Talk about some of the ways this book seems meant to shock us. Does the book make those shocks seem justified, or not?


What about the “timeliness” issue? Does the historical setting of this book make it irrelevant to “issues in modern America”?


4. Take fifteen minutes or so, then regroup and discuss.


Student responses:


  I have enjoyed reading the color " The Color Purple"  It is one of those books that draws me into its pages and I hate to put it down.  When I began the book I was amazed at how Celie went from one type of hard ship or abuse to another.  She was raped by her father and then married a man, who beat her and forced himself on her.  I was glad when Sophia came along and married Harpo and showed Celie that women do not have to be treat as a possession, but as a person who has rights and feelings.  I could not help but feel sorrow for Celie when Sophia left, she was only the second person in her life to care about her and she was gone.  Shortly after Sophia's departure, her husband brought home his sickly lover.  I can not even grasp how that made Celie feel.  I know there was no love in their marriage and it was one more less of convince, however, he was still her husband.  I can not believe he would do something like that without feeling the least bit of guilt.  Shug Very, otherwise known Celie's husbands lover taught Celie that women could be their own person and lead their own lives.  Shug definately did that with her singing and traveling.  She taught Celie that it was also possible to be loved.  I have to admit I was pretty discussed with the two women seeing together and feeling each other.  That was a little more information than I needed to know.  However, to this point I have really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to reading the rest. 

  the article I chose for today was from  It was titled "Lawyers Press Closing Arguments in Clara Harris.  Clara was accused of purposely running her husband over with her car when she saw him with his lover.  As far as the government is concerned, she committed man slaughther.  However, at this point the verdict has not been decided by the jury.  If Clara is convicted guilty of man slaughter she will face life in prison, but if she is convicted on lesser charges she will face 6 months to two years. 


Amanda Egley


The Color Purple

     I find it hard to understand why Celie took so much abuse from Mr.

_____.  He brought Suug to live with them and then he slept with her.  Even

though, Celie didn't say anything to them, she was hurt by this, but she

kept doing what Mr. _____ told her to.  I wouldn't care how big or small my

husband is I would never let anyone control me.

    Celie has only loved two people in her life both being women, her sister

Nettie and Shug.  She hates men and I don't blame her because the men in her

life have done nothing but treat her like dirt, I would hate them too.  The

thing that surprised me was the make-out session between Shug and Celie, I

wasn't expecting it to happen.  Nettie leaves because Mr. ____ wants her and

she won't give into him.  Celie doesn't hear anything from her and thinks

that she is dead.

    Celie finds out that Nettie has been writing to her since she left and

Mr. ____ has been hiding the letters.  I don't think that was fair because

he knew that Nettie meant everything to Celie.  Just because Nettie turned

him down is no reason to take it out on Celie.  I think that he needs to

grow up and stop being so selfish.

In The News,2933,78343,00.html

Nasa Relases Tape of Final Mission Talk

  This article was interesting to me because even though the systems were

failing all the people still had the hope of making it back to earth.  To

know that something is going wrong and that possible the entire crew could

die and to still have faith is amazing.  I would have been flipping out. 

And then Cain said to lock the doors and everyone knew that it was the end,

which is a sad instance for the the United States.


-Candy Apperson



Alisha Fought


Response #3


      I must say that I am appalled at the graphic details contained in this

book.  It seems to be on the border of pornographic material and I think

it’s horrible that it would be a required reading for a class at a Christian

college.  So much of what it written in this book goes against Christian

values and morals and I find it nauseating to read.  I realize that there is

a message that the book is trying to convey, but could it not be done

without the grotesque details?  The main storyline of the book is honorable;

how a young black woman, Celie, who has endured so much abuse and hardship

can rise above it all, with the help of others, and begin to take control of

her life is admirable.  But I am so disgusted by the other elements of the

book that it’s hard to focus on what the author is trying to say.  I am even

more dismayed at the inscription in the beginning of the book “To the

Spirit: Without whose assistance Neither this book Nor I Would have been

Written.”  I just don’t know that the Spirit would have any part in writing

such provocative material.


I read the article “A Career Hangs in the Balance” out of Political USA. 

This was about a 33 year-old Fresno lawmaker who was caught in a

prostitution area and therefore suspected of participating in such

activities.  This is causing a lot of controversy and he was asked to resign

but hasn’t done so.  I’m kind of surprised that they’re making such a big

deal about, I think it’s wrong, but I’m sure that other politicians do the

same thing, and even worse.  Patricia Bates made the statement that she

didn’t think that anyone should be tried in the media and I agree.  If he is

indeed innocent of this speculation his career may be ruined from the

negative media coverage.

-Alisha Fought



I had always heard that “The Color Purple” was a good book, but until I started reading it I did not realized just how good of a book it was.  I honestly found myself not being able to find a good stopping point to put the book down.  I think that it is very easy reading.  That is, of course, after I got used to reading Celie’s style of narration.  There are so many different issues that this book addresses:  domestic violence, rape, and slavery in general.  The language can be quite vulgar at times and it is a very descriptive book is certain sections.


Just from reading the first half of the book, I think that it is interesting to see the overall transformation that Celie is going through.  Her self-image and self-confidence are growing thanks to Shug’s influence.  At first, I felt bad for Celie.  The fact that she was raped by her father and had two

children by him is disgusting, but I guess in that time that was a common occurrence.  He father treated her terribly.  The fact that he tried so hard to get Mr. _____ to take her and marry her like she was being pushed off or auctioned off was terrible.  They acted as if she wasn’t even there; calling her ugly and saying that if Mr. _____ married her, a cow came along with the deal.  The only real positive influences that Celie cared about were her sister, Nettie, and her relationship with Shug (which was a bit unsettling

also).  I also found it interesting when more of a religious standpoint was brought in.  It seemed that there were two different extremes when it switched from Celie's letters to Nettie’s letters.  Nettie’s letters gave the feeling that even though there is evil in the world, it is also counteracted with good.


For my “Current Events” article I read one out of The Christian Science Monitor.  It talked about how the United States is already planning who will rule Iraq after we invade the country.  It said that US military's Central Command, Gen. Tommy Franks, will rule Iraq in the initial aftermath of a United States invasion to overthrow President Saddam Hussein.  It said that the government expects that it would take two years before the military could fully transfer control to an Iraqi government.  As to be expected, Iraqi opposition leaders are already attacking the plan, saying it amounts to a United States military rule of Iraq.  Instead of turning Iraq into a

democracy in the Middle East, the opposition leaders say the United States will favor the existing power structure in the country.  I guess I just don’t

understand how we can already be planning things like this when an invasion of Iraq hasn’t even happened yet.

-Lesley Johanns








I honestly don't know what to say to what I read.  While I realize that some

of the issues in modern america are racism, child abuse, abuse of women, and

rape, I don't understand how reading this book will help us understand these

issues any better than talking about them in class or reading the local

newspaper or reading the many statistics that I am sure are available to us

about all these issues. I know that the point is to gross us out to never be

a part of this and so that we will realize how real of a problem it is but I

am sure that most of us already know this maybe even have experience with

some of these things first hand.  I have seen two of these issues first hand

happen to someone close to me and do not appreciate the artistic value of

the book one bit!  I still have half the book to read and have read too

much!!!  Talk about issues in modern america don't have us read books that

illude to them in a very unappealing way that doesn't make us more aware but

more pissed off!!!


Now for some real news!  Annika Sorenstam is going to play in a PGA tour

event against some of the worlds best male golfer's!  what a chance for

women everywhere to get to compete on what has always been a men's stage,

now Sorenstam has the first opportunity in 58 years to do this!  What was

the greatest golfer in the world's reaction?  Tiger said it can be good or

bad for women...good if she shoots well, bad if she scores low in two days

and is out.  Lots of women everywhere are saying that it only matters that

she is being afforded the opportunity, but we all know in our world that

Tiger is right, only if she plays well will this be truley a momentus day

for women golfers.  Will the WPGA and the PGA merge?  looks like it's on

Sorenstam's shoulders, at least for know.


Allan King


In the second part of this book you notice that Celie becomes more of her own person.  She is now learning much more about herself.  She is learning more sexual stuff and Shug shows that to her.  Sofia and Squeak both have bad memories of trying to resist from stereotyping.  Celie is learning a lot about herself and this makes her very emotional throughout the whole story.  Through all of this Shug and Celie become to grow as one I would say.  They start to rub off on each other.  Celile also starts to read Nettie’s stories and this makes her want to learn more.  Celie understands a lot more about her actual past with the pictures and stuff from Africa.  All of this helps us understand the story of blacks.  This actually picks or is a story of a few that have been through it.  It shows how black women were treated and this teaches her how to get through everything.  Being a story from Georgia and her learning about Harlem New York and blacks up there this helps her to be more independent and stronger.  I think this is a very good story just because it shows that black women were treated badly and now they have made it so far and many are very independent.  I think it is great to learn about the past because it will make you a better person.  Shug helped Celie be that stronger person and people do need help in lives.


This stated that Iraq did break rules for making medium and long-range missiles.  Other countries have said there should be more investigating because if we keep doing that then the possibility of war will have to be pushed back more and more.  They are saying this will be the last time they warn Iraq to disarm otherwise there may be problems.  Powell specifically said, “Nobody wants war, but sometimes it's necessary when you need it to maintain international order.”  So personally I do not think this is the right thing to say.  It is kind of scary.  The end of that quote says, “There are some of my European colleagues right now who are resisting the natural flow of this resolution. They want to have more inspectors. More inspectors aren't the issue. The question I put to them is: Why more inspectors and how much more time? Or are you just delaying for the sake of delaying in order to get Saddam Hussein off the hook?”  That says it all there is a big possibility that we could go to war. 


Jeff Hindershied


I think this i must have misunderstood when group A was supposed to reply, the sylabus said the 13th but since everyone else did tuesday i prolly missed the info on a change in dates. Sorry about this. O and my journal wont be turned in yet becuase thursday the 13th is the first day that i go to the worth center. I hope this is not a problem.

As i searched i found a very interesting article. I don't really find interest in the whole war scene so i found the article "Iran cracks down on Valentines Day" very intersting as a compromise to the national war situation. I t seems that Irainian police have ordered shops to remove heart shape decorations and have confiscated other symbols that religious authorities consider a western event- Valentines Day.The conservative Iran  and public embracing between men and women is taboo becuase Valentines Day and all its trapping are considered promoting western values.Some card stores have been forced to close or have went bankrupt becuase of these inforcments.This holiday crackdown is the first since 1979. One irainian commented " throiugh the crackdown they only buy peoples greater hatred and enmity."Valentines Day and its tradition of exchanging gifts with the opposite sex contradicts consevative morals in a country where contact beween unrelated men and women is strongly discouraged and the younger population is adopting the western lifestyle which causes dissagreement.---- I think this is a little far fetched. I mean are we doing anything or cutting out any lifestyles that resemble iranian lifestyles? No. This holiday is just for fun, and i kinda feel sorry for young generation and lovers in iran that wanted to celebrate it with their significant others and now in some areas of the country, can't. But o'well what can ya do.

As for "the color purple" what a good book. No offense to the book that we were reading before but after reading the first page of the book i knew i would enjoy it more than the missing peace. I would ask though, what is the books relavence to issues in modern america, if this didn't happen in the current era and none of us in the class really kno what it is like to live like that? QAnother question is about nettie, is she celie's sister, did that father or Mr.____ rape her. Why does Celie not have any more Children after she gets married to Mr. ____? She still is young, i just wondered why she never got pregnant. Is Sophie bigger than Harpo? Here's another issue, i feel like Celie is gay. She likes Shrug, and from reading how she stares and feels when she is around and how she touches herself and feels her nipples get hard, I wonder if Shrug knows that she feels like that. If shrug is seen as kinda a hoe, why do all these people come to hear her sing? I wonder what celie's size is and why she never fights back to MR. _____, not that he has beaten her since shrug has been around.And where did Sneaky come in, is she like a girlfriend to harpo now or is sophie leaving like a divorce, can they get divorces then or do they just have affairs and cheat on each other like it is an everyday event. That kinda bothers me how it is okay with celie that her husband sleeps with shrug in thier own house and she know he loves her and tha sophie has a new guy and comes back with him. Sound like it is all okay with everybody that this happens. This books has so many disturbing issues: the whole marrige out of convienence, lack of education, lazyness of the man of the house. gender roles, and lack of love. I'm excited to read the rest of the book and disscuss it in class to see what others think.

brooke diller

       I was very glad to start reading The Color Purple. In High School, I read it for an English class, and it has become one of my favorite books ever. It was nice to have already read it, so I could get into it right away. One point mentioned in class, is how the language is arguably discriminating. I think you have to look at the overall book and the author to decide. I can not see Alice Walker using language to be discriminating. I see the use of dialects in the text as the authors' way of drawing the reader more into the story and also adds more detail to the characters.

     One reason I love this book is how it describes the human character when oppressed and that something which just barely keeps a person alive. It demonstrates how humans have to keep going under sometimes very harsh conditions. I think this is VERY obvious in the oppression of African-Americans through U.S. history. I admire those who keep going under such discrimination. When Sofia gets out of jail, she has a lot of hostility towards those who wronged her and even thinks of murder. I can see how this human feeling is natural. I like how Alice Walker writes true human emotions in her novel.

    I found an interesting article on The site is The article is by Dave Lindorf and is titled Bush and Hitler and the Strategy of Fear. It deals with, of course, the war with Iraq and how the war is unjustified. He makes good points about how the Bush administration would do things differently if everything they said was true. I really disapprove of the discrimination the US government is giving to all Muslims and Arabs in the country. I definitely see parallels between Bush and Hitler. Of course Bush hasn't been quite as bad as Hitler, but he is still turning this country into a State based on fear and hate.


                   Matt Gothard


Sorry my repsonse is so late. I waited so long to reply because I actually

finished the book. I started reading it and I couldn't put it down. I would

get to a point where I wanted to stop so I could work on other things but I

didn't want to put it down cause I wanted to know what would happen next. I

kind of had a little trouble reading it at first cause I'm a person who

needs everything kind of to be written out so I understand things. I didn't

start reading it til after class the first day we discussed it and I'm glad

I waited to start reading it til after that cause I wouldn't have understood

the beginning at all and some other things. But I thought that it was

discuting how the women got treated. Its a complete turn around to how women

are treated today. I never realized how badly they were treated back then. I

might not have really wanted to realize how badly they were treated. It

disturbed me greatly how the men basically raped the women throughout most

of the book. I was kind of surprised that Mr. _____ didn't end up killing

Celie. I thought that he might. At different points in the book I thought

that he might be better off killing her cause she would be better off dead,

but I'm glad she lived. I got quite confused at times with time frames

because it didn't always say how long it had been since a certain thing at

happened etc and because of that I had to go back and reread some things to

make sure that I understood it. There were other times that it wasn't very

clear what was going on and so I would go back and reread it and still not

understand it and til it talked about it some more later on and then I

understood it and it made it clear. I can't think of any examples right now

off the top of my head cause it all runs together right now. But I think as

we talk about it, it will all come back to me.,2933,78349,00.html


This lady obviously knew what she was doing, and it even said that in the

article. The jury really shouldn't take that long to decide what their

decision is because its kind of clear. I can't believe that she did this

with his daughter in the car with her. That's outrageous. And her attorney's

want her to be aquited. Come on, these jurors aren't stupid. This lady was

out of her mind. She said she "wanted to separate" her husband from Bridges

but that she only wanted "to hurt him emotionally." Well, if she wanted to

hurt him emotionally, there are a million other ways of doing that other

than running him over with her car and killing him. I saw a video of this on

tv and she ran him over more than twice. She would run him over, back up and

repeadly run him over. What does she not think that running him over one

time wouldn't be enough. Come on, this lady is out of her mind.


Amber Fitzwater



Raudel Hermosillo Jr.

Issues Response 3


      The Color Purple is definitely a different kind of book. I think the author

does an exceptional job of allowing the reader to really become a part of

Celie¡¯s life. The author also does a phenomenal job of keeping the readers

attention. I am not one for reading on a regular basis, and this book does

not lose my attention. I think the author also excels in portraying the how

life was at that particular time. The writing style, epistolary, I feel only

enhances the situation of how educated people were at that point of time in

history. The dialogue depicted in this book is another tool for making the

book come alive in a sense. I don¡¯t have much else to say other than I

enjoy reading this book more so than The Missing Peace.

      The current issue I will write is one that concerns a minor once again.

This time a minor allegedly changed his grades through the illegal use of

his teacher¡¯s computer. This of course is a felony charge, a felony of the

second degree. This article can be found here,2933,78398,00.html . The fact that the

student is an eleven year old minor, jail time will probably not be a

contributing factor to his sentencing. The juvenile may be sentenced to a

juvenile detention facility for a length of time. I am stumped on deciding

adequate punishment for this adjudicated juvenile.  I strongly feel that the

juvenile¡¯s action was immoral, unfair, and above all unconstitutional.

Violations of rights unbeknown to the perpetrator need to be realized by the

perpetrator to begin the process of rehabilitation and reduce the chance of

recidivism. I am not certain that a sentence to a juvenile detention

facility may be the effective tool in the legal system to use as a means of

correcting this particular crime, though juvenile detention facilities have

been proven as effective deterrent factors to other kinds of crimes.


Raudel Hermosillo, Jr.


I first want to say that I am really enjoying this book.  I have never read it before or seen the film.  Needless to say that it is not how I thought it would be.  I had it pegged in a completely different time period and even though I was unsure of the plot, I would have never imagined it would be like this!  I love it!

Some questions that come to my mind are as follows:

1) Even though it is obvious that the majority of the men in this story believe that they are superior becasue of their gender and find it necessary to beat their wives when they don't follow orders, I find it curious that Mr. _________ won't raise a hand to Shug Avery.  Is it because he is truly in love with her?  Celie was just part of a deal where he got a cow; he didn't marry because he loved her.

2) Sofia leaves Harpo.  They both end up finding someone else.  Yet, when they meet again at Harpo's new jukejoint, it's like it's okay.  How important are marital vows?  The same goes with Mr. _________ and Shug.  Of course Celie does not have feelings for her own husband, but they both made a promise.  Mr. _______'s other wife who died was also guilty of adultery.

3) I find it disturbing about all the accounts of rape I have read thus far.  Celie was raped by her own father.  Later, when they send Squeak to try and get Sofia out of prison she ends up being raped by her own distant relative.  Does this have any relation to the fact that this is a poor community/area?  What role does poverty play in the desperation people do to?


At, there is a section devoted to articles involving a man by the name of Miguel A. Estrada.  What is so special about this guy?  Well, almost two years ago, he was nominated by W. to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals.  And he has not been approved because of a so-called filibuster on behalf of the Democrats.  One site claims it is a Democratic/ Republican issue ( and while another said that it is because of Mr. Estrada's race ( Filibusters have been around for a very long time and both parties are guilty of them.  It is a political tactic.  However, Mr. Estrada is a very qualified candidate for the job.  I just hope that sometime in the very near future this is resolved.  The man has been waiting for nearly two years!

I have been receiving the Christian Science Monitor for my capstone class and I have to say that it probably the best source of print media that I have read.  I was very interested in the story that they had on LeBron James.  The Monitor is not a very sports filled newspaper.  However, it seems that one cannot look anywhere and not here about "King James" as the Monitor puts it.  This kid is a senior in high school and yet, he's deemed as the "savior" of basketball since Michael Jordan is retiring (again) after this season.  All the media frenzy around this kid has made me think of A) why are we such a paparazzi-like culture who love nothing more than to put our nose in other people's business and B) the role of money.  A media circus follow LeBron everywhere he goes.  LeBron was raised by his single mother in Cleveland and grew up on welfare and handouts.  Obviously, the lack of money has fueled his NBA hopes even more.

Stephanie Elton