Presentation on theme: "Journal, Monday 4/28/08 If you have been or are in a personal relationship, write about the positive and negative qualities of your significant other."— Presentation transcript:
Journal, Monday 4/28/08 If you have been or are in a personal relationship, write about the positive and negative qualities of your significant other. If you have not been in a personal relationship, write about the positive qualities you would like in a significant other.
Journal Tuesday, 4/29/08 Yesterday we talked about how The Color Purple is an epistolary novel. This means that it is a series of letters. If you were to write a letter to help you deal with a problem or to reveal something that you have never told anyone – who would it be and would you actually send the letter?
The Color Purple Discussion Questions
Letters 1-8 (#1) Briefly identify the author of the letters. What is her age, name, and family status? The letters are written by a 14 year old girl named Celie. She has a father named Fonzo, a sister Nettie, a mother who soon dies, a new stepmother, and many other siblings.
Letters 1-8 (#2) What does Celie believe happens to her two babies? She tells her mother that God takes the first baby, but she believes her father takes the baby into the woods and kills it. Celie suspects her father sells her second baby, a boy, to some people living in Monticello.
Letters 1-8 (#3) In what way is Celie physically damaged by her father’s sexual abuse? What evidence is there in these letters that Celie no longer is interested in or relates to men? Celie can no longer have children. Celie writes that she looks at the women at church because she is not afraid of them, but she does not look at men.
Letters 1-8 (#4) Who is Shug Avery? How does Celie first learn about her? Shug Avery is a beautiful woman whose relationship with Mr.__ keeps Fonzo from letting Mr.__ marry Celie’s sister, Nettie. Celie’s stepmother shows Celie a picture of Shug. Celie is amazed by her beauty, and dreams about Shug “whirling and laughing.”
Letters 1-8 (#5) Find a passage in these letters supporting the idea that Celie willingly sacrifices herself to protect her little sister from her father. “I ast him to take me instead of Nettie while our new mammy is sick.”
Letters 1-8 (#6) This novel is an example of an epistolary novel; that is, a novel written in the form of a series of letters. How does this literary form enhance the believability of Celie’s story? Hint: why do you think Alice Walker decides to have Celie address her letters to God? Celie writes to God because she cannot tell anyone except God that she is being sexually abused by her father. By having Celie address her letters in this way, Walker’s novel is believable because the reader assumes that anyone writing to God is being truthful.
Letters 1-8 (#7) How old is Celie when her father offers her in marriage to Mr.__? Briefly review the quality and length of the letters from the beginning of the book through page 12. In what ways have the letters changed? What do you think this change in the letters reveals to the reader abut the changes in Celie? At the beginning of the book, Celie is fourteen years old. She is twenty when her father offers her in marriage to Mr.__. Notice how the letters are becoming longer and more mature. The quality of the letters parallels Celie’s growth.
Letters 1-8 (#8) Celie’s father is trying to convince Mr.__ to marry Celie instead of Nettie. List three reasons he believes Celie will be a better wife than Nettie. The list four insulting comments her father makes to Mr.__ about Celie’s appearance and character. How do you feel about Fonzo’s description of Celie? Celie can work hard, she is clean, she is good with children, and she cannot have more children. In addition, she has her own linen and a cow. Celie is ugly, she tells lies, she is “spoiled,” she will give things away, and she is not smart. Fonzo’s negative comment about Celie seem cruel.
Letters 1-8 (#9) Find an example of a flashback in this group of letters. Celie remembers the day Mrs. Beasley comes to the house to see why Celie is no longer in school. She goes away, never to return, when she notices that Celie is pregnant.
Letters 1-8 (#10) Cite incidents from the story to prove or disprove the following statement: In these first letters, Celie suffers many abuses, but does not express anger or outrage at these acts. Celie is a young girl without much worldly experience. She accepts her life, including the terrible things her fathers say about her and does to her. Celie knows her father’s behavior is inappropriate because she tries to protect her sister from him, yet she is powerless to change him or to escape from him. The first line of the novel expresses her sense of powerlessness: “You better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy.” Celie does not seem to possess a sense of the injustice of her situation. She writes to God about her life but does not plead with God to change it.