Day 13 2/18/03
1. Names. Finish Color Purple Thursday. Juhnke Friday. Next Tues. is open, Thursday is midterm exam. I’ll be out of town that day; I’m leaning toward a take-home exam, and would give you the questions on Thursday and make Tuesday an optional review period.
2. In the news:
On information and public opinion:
Caroline on pay inequality: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/17/business/17WOME.html?th
Perry, views on delay:
Becky on death penalty in
Adam on women at
Laura on big snow:
Andrea on 21 killed in
Jenny on mom learning to swear:
3. On Color Purple:
A. Walker as “Womanist”:
”Thirty-five years younger than Welty and nineteen years younger than O’Connor, Walker is
more radical in her politics, which one might expect from a writer who fought
on the front lines in the Civil Rights wars. In "In Search of My Mother's
Garden," an intriguing book of essays by
“In the title essay,
1. the physically and psychologically abused black woman
2. the exceptional black woman torn by "contrary instincts"
3. the new black woman who can create herself out the legacy of her maternal ancestors”
Which of these is which in CP? Celie is the first, Shug the second, right? And then the question is whether Celie can become the third. . . .
Where does Nettie fit into this scheme? Is she another potential #3? What about
her story, and all that
B. Lesbianism, and to what extent Celie is a “real” lesbian and to what extent she’s just desperate for love and human connection. What do you think? What is it, really, that she gains from her affair with Shug?
The law and the justice system.
Women and education and how to respond to oppression. At first Celie’s response is not just passivity, but acceptance of
her ignorance and powerlessness. Being a tree: trees are not just hard, they’re immobile and, well, dumb, right? 122-123 Nettie to Celie on God and keeping quiet and ignorance and
learning. 124: “There are colored people in the world who want us to
What’s Celie’s first response to the letters? 134: “I think I feel better if I kill him.” Shug gets her to sewing: “A needle instead of a razor in my hand.”
160 the real story of Pa and the family. “You must be sleep,” she writes to God.
Next one she writes to Nettie. And that leads into the next issue:
Religion. 142 Olinka and roofleaf
and their religion. That crucial passage 175-179,
discussion with Shug. About God as old white guy vs. God as everywhere. The color purple. Duane Friesen’s reading of that passage,
171-172, maybe a way of softening
about religion as an issue in modern
What role does religion play in this book? What about “Pa’s” first statement/command to Celie? For him God is just another means of control, a means of maintaining his dominance and covering up his crimes and sins.
what is God worried about? Women getting jobs and
putting their children in day care? Gays and lesbians
and the right to pray to Jesus out loud in school? Killing the enemies
Religion in Color Purple.
“The Color Purple was
published in 1982. It received much attention and praise and was awarded
both the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award that year.
The Color Purple is "a theological work examining the journey from the religious back to the spiritual."
[The Color Purple] "is the pagan transformation of God from patriarchal male supremacist into trees, stars, wind and everything else. . .."
[The Color Purple's] intent [is] to explore the difficult path of someone who starts out in life already a spiritual captive, but who, through her own courage and the help of others, breaks free into the realization that she, like Nature itself, is a radiant expression of the heretofore perceived as quite distant Divine."
Friesen, Artists, Citizens, Philosophers: He notes the “linkage between personal
transformation and aesthetic delight” in Color
Purple (171). 172:
Look for next time: The crucial scene where Celie finally speaks up to Mr.
_________, his response, all that follows. Also, as I promised, we’ll come back
to the civil rights movement and talk about the connections between this book
on “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
I found “The Color Purple” a very interesting book First of all; it was a very different style of writing then what I’m used to read. It was not written as a story told by one author. The story was told through letters, written by the main character Celie to God, and later her sister Nettie, who in turn wrote letters addressing Celie. Also, the language spoken most of the time was a dialect of English. I don’t know for sure if it was true Ebonics or not, but it sure reminded me of it. In the very beginning I had a hard time reading the book in normal speed, but before long I was used to Celie’s language and I could read the book in fast pace. I had a hard time putting it down. Got sucked into it!
Second, the book tells a story of an oppressed woman who went through a lot. As a female, it was easy for me to connect with most of Celie’s thoughts and feelings. The story was emotionally engaging. Because of my compassion for Celie, I was very happy the book ended the way it did. I believe that if it would have ended differently I would have probably been pretty upset!
“The Color Purple” brought me in touch with a world that I never knew, with problems that I never had to worry about. Alice Walker does a marvelous job of showing the reader some of the issues that are present in this world, and the feelings that go with it.
After reading the book “The Color Purple” were the main character Celie was oppressed primarily by her father and later her husband, the following article grabbed my attention: “Wage Gap Between Men and Women Shrinks” by David Leonhardt. When I began to read the article I had a pretty positive feeling about it, but after reading the first couple paragraphs I became frustrated more than anything else. Why is it that there still is a wage gap between men and women? They say it is shrinking now, and that is good, but there shouldn’t be a difference in pay based on sex to begin with! Last year, females made 77.5 percent of what their male counterparts did, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For every $1,000 a man earns, a woman only earns $775. That difference becomes pretty large when bigger numbers are involved. Furthermore, even though the headline of the article states that the gap is shrinking, in the previous eight years the inequality in pay worsened slightly to 76 percent in 2001 from 77.1 percent in 1993. I guess I just don’t understand why there is this inequality. We all know it is wrong. Why don’t we just pay males and females equally? “Economists say the two biggest reasons that the pay gap is unlikely to wither completely are discrimination, which is difficult to measure, and the dominant share of housework and child care done by women, which reduces their outside job experience and causes them often to take more flexible, lower-paid positions” (Leonhardt). Peleeeaassee, in today’s world ‘housework and child care’ SHOULD NOT be done dominantly by women and considering that females in the last couple decades were part of the workforce more than ever, makes ‘the less outside job experience’ a very weak argument! I say this is pure discrimination and nothing else.
Link used: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/17/business/17WOME.html?th
The Color Purple has been both interesting and repulsive to me as I have
read through it. I was looking forward to reading it, because I had heard
so much about it. But as I got further into the story, I found myself
wanting it to end as quickly as possible. One thing that really kept me
reading, however, is the form in which it is written. The letters were
short enough that I was able to keep plodding through it. When the letters
were coming from Nettie, however, I almost gave up. I found her letters
extremely difficult to read, not because of style but because of content.
For some reason I really didn't care what she was doing or what happened to
her, and I can't figure out why. Maybe it was because she had not been
mentioned for about half the book. Another thing that was difficult for me
was the concept of time. It was difficult to determine how much time had
passed between each entry, and that made some things difficult to piece
together. The last thing that bothered me was the way everyone was sleeping
around and stealing everyone else's man/woman. All of the main female
characters had been with at least two men (or women) except for Nettie. One
of the interesting things in this book, however, was the control the women
had. When they decided something, there was nothing the men could do to
stop them. They left and married other people, and then came back and were,
for the most part, accepted back into the family. By the end of the book,
everyone was reunited at Celie's house, and everyone seemed to be happy that
everyone was there.
I found these two websites that agreed that the longer we wait to take
action or make a decision the worse things are going to be.
I really enjoy reading the book The Color Purple. The book’s letterform makes it very easy and
quick to read. There are so many
surprises in this book. From the shocking
beginning, to the secrets that Celie reveals throughout the book. Celie goes through so much in her life. From being raped by her step father, to being
beaten by her husband, finding out that her children are alive and living with
her sister, Nettie in
I think the letters that Celie receives from Nettie are very
interesting. It showed that African
Americans didn’t really have a place in the world. They were not accepted in the
This article is about the restoration of the death penalty
While reading the novel Color Purple I found myself upset because the way
Celie didn't give Mr. ____ a name. I thought about this for a long time and
came to the conclusion that she didn't give him a name because she had no
feelings for him and if she gave him a name and recognized him as human then
she would have feelings for him. Now that we are almost finished with the
book I really have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it because of
all of the things that go on in the book. I really like the book now
because Celie is really starting to come out of her shell and finding out
who she really is this makes me really happy for her, because out of any one
in this book she deserves happiness. When Celie started to stand p for
herself I really started becoming happy because Mr. ____her terribly and
didn't deserve her I think that the things that her put her through were
just horrible and that he should be punished for. Thats why i really liked
the part when Celie was writing to her sister and she was talking to Mr.
_____ and was telling him that it was all going to come back to him some
While searching around the web I was trying to find an issue related to the
book we were reading, so I went to the first place I new i would find one.
Surprisingly it was at ESPN.com I found an article on the controversy on
whether or not women should be
allowed to join the all male club at
National Golf Course. This article is about planned protests at this years
masters tournament. I am a huge golf fan and feel that women should be
allowed to join the club. I think this way because if they join it does not
take away any of the prestige that the course has built up over the years.
If anything it will make the course a more popular and make more money.
There are many people involved with this matter that are not just golfers.
Some senators are taking away memberships because they want to stay popular
with their constituints and the most feminist of all Martha Burke. She is
leading this campaign, I feel that the change needs to be made, but some of
Ms. Burkes antics are wrong.
When I first go to the section with all the letters from Nettie to Celie, I couldn't really get into them. I couldn't, still don't, understand why those letters were in there. Once I got into the letters I found them rather intresting, and enjoyable. It is hard for me to imagine growing up, and not ever having some type of education outside of house work, like how the little girls in the village lived. I also cannot imagine being a young child, and already be "given" to someone who was middle-aged for marriage. It blows my mind. I found it hard to imagine not choosing if I marry, let alone who I marry (when Celie is given to Mr. Blank.) Reading those types of things in the story really made me think of how lucky I am, to live where and when I do. I realize that being the dominate race has some bearing on how I'm viewed as a woman, but even while in Africa Nettie saw the dominate culture 'giving' their children away for marriage.
The article is about all the
After reading the majority of this book the main thing that
amazes me is how much stronger Celie how become. I think physically she has
grown into a totally different person. One example is how she starts to wear
pants, which at the time was a very big deal. The other obvious step is that
Celie is moving to
I am so amazed through out the book when Nettie is describing
how beautiful and amazing
Overall I think this is a piece of literature well worth reading. In class we discussed if it was outdated and I have to say I do not think so. At one point in class we said that the same things happen just not to the extreme and I disagree with that. Everyday women and children are maliciously beaten and raped and often by family members for no reason. So what is the difference? I think this is a timeless story because it basically talks about women learning to overcome the suppression that they face.
I read an article in the Washington Post title
“21 Killed in Panic to Exit Chicago Club” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22631-2003Feb17.html.
This was an article about the 21 people who were killed in a
After reading almost half of this book I am still amazed by the content in this book. Not that I am so nieve that I think bad things never happen but I think this book really brings to life, very explicitly, the trials of life, however difficult they are. I will say that I would never read a book like this on my own, I much prefer the poetry of Robert Frost, which I must say is slightly more light hearted than the material in this book. However, I must say that I do find that this book has some unique insights into the psychological aspects of Celie’s traumatic life. The most terrible thing is that she is raped by her Father and gets pregnant which forever alters her feelings toward men and their behavior. She seems to become completely numb to the fact that there are just some things that should not occur in a marriage but since that is what she has always known she honestly believes that nothing is wrong. I think that this single act forever changes they way she thinks not only about marriage but also about herself as well. That is until Shug Avery arrives. Their first encounter is not as glamorous as Celie would have liked because Shug tells her that she is ugly. However, after this somewhat interesting beginning, they strike up a very odd friendship. Celie then claims to have fallen in love with her which shows that she is turning to any place available to find someone to love her because she has never experienced it before.
I find this book difficult to read mainly because thankfully I have never experienced anything close to what Celie has. I was raised in a home with two loving parents and everything I needed whereas Celie has absolutely nothing, even her own Father betrayed her.
This particular page of the onion amused me somewhat because I am just baffled that they wrote about something like this. I do realize that this website is known for being controversial but I think that a story like this somewhat takes away from their credibility as a news source.