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Lit, Cultures, Identities (I)

by: Jeanette Collins

Lit, Cultures, Identities (I) IAH 207

Marketplace > Michigan State University > OTHER > IAH 207 > Lit Cultures Identities I
Jeanette Collins
GPA 3.51

Joseph Francese

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Joseph Francese
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jeanette Collins on Saturday September 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to IAH 207 at Michigan State University taught by Joseph Francese in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see /class/207590/iah-207-michigan-state-university in OTHER at Michigan State University.


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Date Created: 09/19/15
IAH 207 Focus on Oppression in the Contemporary World M W 5650 310 Bessey Dr J Francese 244 Old Horticulture Building email francesemsuedu Office Hours Monday and Wednesday 4305 in Holden Lounge by email and by appointment During the Twentieth Century human beings have raised techniques of oppression and inhumanity to extraordinary degrees Why is this How does it happen Why do some participate Why do others submit Why is resistance often ineffective What sorts of explanations can we come to In this course we will examine the nature and the causes and consequences of Oppression in the Contemporary World We will begin with a consideration of what structures oppression by considering the unconscious mechanisms that propel individuals to authoritarian andor submissive behavior We will then ask what motivates and justifies violence and to what extent is oppressive behavior contextual that is to say due to social systems that bind us and cultural teachings that are absorbed over time At the same time we will consider the effects on the oppressed and how selfrealization is limited and deformed in oppressive environments We will also examine the effects of domination of the selfimage of individuals and groups For this reason our explanations will focus on relationships of power while we develop insights into how oppressive relations are lived at a personal level between individuals We will compare various forms and degrees of oppression and move closer to an understanding of what oppression is and what it is not Throughout our discussions we will have as our goal a clearer understanding of what it means to live under the rule of law with respect for the rights and dignity of others while keeping in mind the difficulties inherent in maintaining an albeit precarious balance between individual liberties justice and equality We will accomplish this through reading and discussion of representative works of psychology sociology literature autobiography and the viewing of films This course will also help students develop new analytical skills as well as new knowledge and understanding of our topics The development of these skills coincides with two of our principal course goals First students will learn to look critically at everyday relations and attitudes that are typically taken for granted Second students will increase in their abilities to understand the historical development of these behaviors and their consequences for themselves and others while improving in their writing The instructional mode will consist of lecture and class discussions This course as is the case with all courses in Integrative Studies at MSU seeks to assist students to become more familiar with ways of knowing in the arts and humanities and to be more knowledgeable and capable in a range of intellectual and expressive abilities IAH courses encourage students to engage critically with their own society history and cultures or to learn more about the history and culture of other societies They focus on key ideas and issues in human experience encourage appreciation of the roles of knowledge and values in shaping and understanding human behavior emphasize the responsibilities and opportunities of democratic citizenship highlight the importance of language and the value of the creative arts and alert us to important issues that occur and reoccur among peoples in an39 39 39y 39 J 39 J r A world Grading Tests on readings 3 40 Topical papers 2 60 Grade Quality of work 40 Work surpasses instructor s expectations Sets a standard for other students 3035 Good work above average meets instructor s expectations 2025 Average level of achievement Meets instructor s minimal expectations for satisfactory work l0l5 Below level of achievement required by instructor 00 Unsatisfactory work Grading scale 93100 40 7074 20 8592 35 6569 15 8084 30 6064 10 7579 25 059 00 Required texts Aciman Letters of Transit Bauman Liquid Times Ehrenreich Nickel and Dimed Levi The Periodic Table Morrison Beloved Tabucchi Pereira Declares Anderegg Nerds Who TheyAre and Why We Need More of Them Uchida Desert Exile Required texts available at the Assigned Reading Desk in the Main Library Browning OrdinaryMen D 8043 B77 1998 Fromm Escape From Freedom HM 27lF74 1967 Goffman Asylum RC 439 G5 8 Films available in the Main Library Battle ofAlgiers Crime ofthe Century The Front M atewan Missing The Monster North Country Sicko Miscellaneous Costs subscription to Net ix or Blockbuster for lm rentals It is highly recommended that you print out the reading materials made available through ANGEL so you will need to set aside some funds for these associated costs these minimal costs in comparison to the purchase of an additional book or course reader are considered a worthwhile investment toward your success in the course TOPICAL PAPERS Each student will be required to submit two papers The first will be due February 29 the second April 16 Papers must be submitted with l margins typed doublespaced in Times New Roman 12 font Please align both right and left margins insert page numbers in the lower righthand comer of each page and staple all pages including title page and list of works cited together Indentations and Spacing from Forma scroll down and click on Paragraph must be set at 0 Single space do NOT double space after periods DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK PROF F RANCESE FOR CLARIFICATIONS IF NECESSARY because FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS will result in a 10 REDUCTION OF GRADE The grade for these papers will be based on the clarity of expression and quality of thought Clarity of expression includes presenting your ideas in an organized logical manner and in grammatical noncolloquial English Quality of thought includes expressing ideas that are substantial that are attentive to the questions raised and the material upon which those questions are based and that successfully communicate your understanding of the issues under consideration Papers must have a title that guides the reader into your topic and be written in a style suited to a formal setting which means for example avoiding quot 39 J 39 39 and rhetorical questions Since your reasoning must follow a logical consequential sequence paragraphs must never be separated by wide blank spaces if you have trouble formatting do consult with Prof Francese You must also avoid the use of platitudes trite phrases and hackneyed expressions Papers must be handed in at the beginning of hour on dates indicated no exceptions Late papers will not be accepted for any reason other than documented medical or family emergency and you will receive a grade of zero for the assignment if you do not tum your paper in on time NB Students must be present in class to turn in their own work Students must discuss topics in advance with the instructor and consult with the instructor periodically as the work progresses Failure to consult with the instructor prior to submitting a bibliography will result in a 25 reduction of your paper s grade Related bibliographies hard copy that list outside sources to be used in both research papers are due are due February 15 and April 2 This working provisory bibliography must be submitted with your research paper along with your definitive list of Works Cited In addition to sources working bibliographies must include a working title and 4 5 sentences that explainwhy this topic is relevant to you 1 Failure to turn in a provisory bibliography will result in 25 reduction of your paper s grade For both your provisory bibliography and the nal draft of your paper use Referencing Style document sent to you with this syllabus by email Failure to use the Referencing Style document will result in a 10 reduction of your paper s grade Electronic copies of topical papers and bibliographies will not be accepted unless arranged in advance with Prof Francese STUDENTS MAY CORRECT AND RE SUBMIT THEIR TOPICAL PAPERS USING PROF FRANCESE S COMMENTS AS A GUIDE THOSE WHO DO SO MAY BETTER THEIR GRADE BY 0 10 PERCENTAGE POINTS RE SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE ONE WEEK AFTER PAPERS HAVE BEEN RETURNED TO YOU YOUR FIRST PAPER The purpose of the rst paper is to develop a working de nition of oppression 7 what structures it 7 and to consider speci c examples suggested by the readings of its effects on the oppressed how it deforms how it limits selfrealization Suggestions for choosing a paper topic for those who are having dif culty Think of a broad topic Start by asking yourself which of the readings discussed was of greatest interest to you Then go the Main Library and see what sources are available Do Author Title and Keyword searches in Magic Perhaps ask a reference librarian to indicate to you relevant electronic databases Choose and nd the books and articles that seem of greatest interest and utility to you Then begin reading As you read more speci c topics and ideas should begin to come into focus Make note of ideas anomalies and whatever else you think might be of interest and or signi cance These notes will allow you to brainstorm and then cluster your thoughts when you begin writing Before writing as yourself what questions guide your inquiry what do you want to demonstrate to your reader This will help you determine your thesis which in turn will provide the focus for your paper Your thesis is typically the result of what you have learned from your research It is the idea that you will attempt to demonstrate in the body of your paper Your goal is a convincing narrative that showcases your insights and intuitions not a mere reelaboration of what you have read or what we have discussed in class When writing rst conceptualize determining what it is that is being compared This stage involves reading gathering information generalizing Then probe question think and re ect in order to develop and sharpen insights that are not immediately apparent In other words the process of writing a paper must adhere as closely as possible to the following 1 Identify and define a problem 2 Determine what information is relevant 3 Gather judge and connect information 4 Generate hypotheses make inferences 5 Evaluate results perhaps revisiting earlier stages of this process 6 Organize and generate a convincing and defendable narrative or argument In their papers students must attempt to go beyond mere summarization of research and the ideas of others Student papers must offer and justify the student s own ideas insights and conclusions This means that each paper must have an introductory paragraph that includes a thesis statement the main idea or insight that you will prove demonstrate and a concluding paragraph wherein you summarize the salient points of your presentation As already stated the main body of your paper must be organized into coherent paragraphs that proceed in a logical manner Your rst paper 25 of final grade must be approximately 45 pages of text not including a title page or bibliography in length and deal with a specific question raised in our class discussions Most importantly it must deal with the power relations on a local scale for example home work family or neighborhood To facilitate your choice of topic you may want to investigate an example from your own experience that is relevant to you andor your major In other words find a topic that is pertinent to our subject matter and investigate it This paper must draw on 23 sources outside the required readings for this course Students who rely on intemet sources must be HIGHLY SELECTIVE AND VERY CAUTIOUS while there is an abundance of sources available on the net most are superficial and do little to enhance the quality and depth of your thought Often they are of limited utility in helping to master the tenets of good college writing a goal of our class In other words although Internet provides access to a staggering amount of information not all of this information is useful in an academic context Good researchers know how to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate sources Some questions that might help you decide if a source is appropriate include Does the source A treat the issue in a sophisticated manner that is consistent with academic research In other words is it B meant to provide a thorough and careful discussion of the issues involved Or is this source C meant to provide a quick overview eg a dictionary or encyclopedia If your answer is C then the source is inappropriate for this assignment and must not be utilized The use of dictionaries and encyclopedias in both on line and paper formats is m acceptable POSSIBLE PAPER TOPICS Manifestations of authoritarian andor submissive personalities in labor relations Fromm Ehrenreich Pressure on mainstream personalities to conform Fromm Browning Racial pro ling its motivations causes and effects Uchida Workers rights Ehrenreich M atewan North Country The effects of oppression on the progeny of the oppressed Morrison The marginalization of individuals who belong to categories of people stereotyped as other often determined by race or gender but also by disabilities sexual orientation or ethnicity Anderegg These topics of course are only suggestions to stimulate thought Other possible topics should emerge as we proceed with our readings and discussion Furthermore students are encouraged to think independently of their own topics perhaps something related to their majors There are wide possibilities The idea is to select a topic that is personally interesting Once you have done so set out manageable parameters for your project explore your topic and develop insights in a presentation whose main thoughts ow together in a convincing and logical sequence YOUR SECOND PAPER 35 of nal grade must be circa 67 pages of text in length and must draw on at least 34 sources outside the required readings for this course You must attempt to apply what you have learned in this class to explain a situation In other words try to explain why something has come to be and contemplate its consequences and ramifications To facilitate your choice of topic attempt to identify a subject that has implications for your own life past present and future In this second paper you will consider the relations of oppression One way to accomplish this is by examining the concepts of the Other that create sustain and justify oppression and then consider the figures and perspectives of the oppressed for example minorities aliens colonized exiles This should allow you to interrogate majority views that are often taken for granted as common sense and then stake out points of reference for a personal ethics that is not based on unquestionable absolute truths but can be justified outside a hierarchy of power relations and with respect for the principle of liberty justice and equality for all Honors option papers must be 810 pages of text in length with a more ample bibliography Those interested in pursuing an Honors Option must discuss hisher project with Prof Francese no later than February 15 POSSIBLE PAPER TOPICS An examination of recent attempts at genocide for example Bosnia or Darfur Levi The death penalty are alternatives feasibile and or justifiable Crime of the Century Abuses of the death penalty Crime of the Century The rights of citizens and the rights of the collectivity Missing State terrorism The Front Battle of Algiers Complacency and submission vs resistence of authority Tabucchi The Patriot Act and civil liberties Uchida Exile Aciman Hoffman Said How the migrations of individuals and peoples call into question absolutist visions of who we are Aciman Hoffman Said Bauman How the revolution in information technology has changed how we perceive time and space Bauman Living in a condition of Liquid Modernity Bauman The search for Utopia in an age of uncertainty Bauman The demonization of nonconforming individuals by the press and the public The Monster Health care Sicko Again these are only suggestions Students are encouraged to think of their own topics however all must attempt to go beyond uncertainty toward a personal ethics Both papers must represent your nished thought not the process and must include a clear thesis statement in your introductory paragraph Both papers must also include a rm conclusion in which you summarize your arguments Please be careful to cite your sources formally and include a list of works cited Guidelines for citations can be found in the Referencing Style document Please remember to adopt your style of expression to a formal setting avoiding colloquial expressions contractions and rhetorical questions Class participation Students are strongly encouraged to prepare the day s reading assignment prior to class since they will serve as the basis for class discussion So be ready to share and explain your opinions Feel free to disagree with others but be specific in your assertions and back them with evidence F eel free also to add to what others have said pushing the conversation further be willing to build on classmates contributions to our discussions praising them for their insights and developing further the thoughts of others listen carefully and respond to other members of the group MASTERY INVOLVES CAREFUL LISTENING AS WELL AS THOUGHT Be willing to change your mind when someone demonstrates an error in your own logic or use of facts do not hesitate to ask for clarification of any point or any term you do not understand make your point succinctly avoid repetition and stick to the subject ATTENDANCE POLICY Since discussion is Vital to the progress of the class attendance is expected Absences affect the student s understanding of the material and in turn the final grade Each student will be allowed a maximum of 2 absences Each additional absence will lower the student s nal course grade by 05 Four or more absences will be cause for a nal grade of 00 Students who miss more than 5 minutes of a class session will be marked absent Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Students with disabilities must contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations and obtain a VISA For an appointment with a counselor call 3539642 voice or 3551293 TTY Requests for alternate examination locations must be approved by Dr Francese at least seventy two hours in advance Observation of Major Religious Holidays You may make up course work missed to observe a major religious holiday if you make arrangements in advance with the instructor Readings Examinations on the readings will be administered monthly throughout the term The student s test average will count for 40 of the nal grade In answering test questions remember to cite speci c examples from the text avoid wordiness and aim for concision and clarity Succinctly demonstrate that you have understood the question Then show that you have done the relevant readings and have absorbed mastered and made your own the information exchanged in class discussions integrate the information shared in class with your own interpretations and teach the material back to me STUDENTS WHO ARRIVE MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES TARDY WILL NOT BE ADMITTED TO EXAMINATION SESSIONS AND WILL RECEIVE A GRADE OF ZERO NB NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED MAKE UP EXAMINATIONS WILL BE ADMINISTERED ONLY FOR EXCUSED ABSENCES INVOLVING MEDICAL OR FAMILY EMERGENCIES AND WILL BE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE INSTRUCTOR THE INSTRUCTOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE MODEST CHANGES IN THE SYLLABUS AND READINGS WITH PROPER PRIOR NOTICE TO STUDENTS to course Browning OrdinaryMen Preface ch 18 Ordinary Men 39IlO examination Final Exam Study Sheet IAH 207 Spring 2011 o The Ten Theories of Race 0 OO O O O O O O O Theory1 Race is aimed at grouping people by identifiable inheritable permanent physical differences Theory2 Race is a thinly veiled attempt atjustifying personal gain Theory3 A race is any group that can perpetuate itself or show evidence of persistent dissimilarity or deviation and produce half breed children when intermarrying with others groups that can also perpetuate themselves or show evidence of persistent dissimilarity or deviation is a race given that both groups were also created through such a process Theory4 A race is a group characterized by a shared national culture language and geographical location that sometimes affects the group but does not destroy its ancestral origin Theory5 Race is a category that establishesthe potential and value ofa group of humanspeople by indicating the propensity for social organization or civilization ability to overcome a natural repugnance for crossing of blood contained in the grouppeople s blood Theory6 A race is a subspecies that designates forms within a species that possess many differences that would potentially create a species designation but which differences actually fall short ofa drawing such a distinction Theory7 A race is a group with inborn qualities that can either improve or degenerate Theory8 Race is the attempt to de ne human beings by visible differences or through scientific methods and to distinguish them physically psychologically intellectually socially or culturally Theory9 Race is inherited like tradition as preferred traits and values and is the medium by which culturally speaking ethnic remolding can take place Theory10 Race is a meaningless concept that should be eliminated because it is artificial inaccurate and perpetuates error 0 Difference Between A race is and Race is Theories of Race 0 O A race is s assuming that we already know what a race is Now we are trying to draw a line in between what these different races exactly are Race is More ofa general theory Make a general statement about all races What race means 0 Franz Boas Overall Argument 0 Claim A theoretical investigation of this stability of racetypes will show the assumption of an absolute stability of human types is not plausible 85 Premise 1 It would seem however that besides the influence of more or less favorouable environment affect the form of the body during the period of growth a number of causes may modify the form ofthe body 8586 0 Evidence 1 O O O A more detailed study of the phenomena of growth has shown that the development of different parts ofthe body does not proceed by any means at the same rate at a given period 85 It follows from this consideration that social and geographical environment must have an influence upon the form ofthe body of the adult and upon the development of his central nervous system 85 It follows from this observation changes in body face and brain that if an individual is retarded by unfortunate conditions after a certain organ has obtained nearly its full development while other organs are still in the process of rapid evolution the former cannot be much influenced while the latter may bear evidence of the unfavorable conditions which were controlling during a certain period of life 85 0 Possible Objection 1 The changes in body that occur in America and Europe may be the result ofa changed mechanical treatment of children in an American environment 87 lmplication the changes in body might be caused by cultural differences 0 Response to Objection 1 The children surveyed are American children with European parents This attempts to establish that the handling of children which is a cultural difference would not be present in the parents ofthe children surveyed 87Premise 2 Our studies prove only a modification ofthe type but we are not able to determine what the ultimate amount of these modi cations will be and whether there is any real tendency of modifying diverse types in such a way that one particular American type should develop rather than a limited modi cation of each European type 86 Evidence 2 0 These observations changes in growth between European and Americanborn babies seem to indicate a decided plasticity of human types but I wish to repeat that the limits of this plasticity are not known to us 87 It follows however that if the bodily form undergoes farreaching changes under a new environment concomitant changes ofthe mind may be expected 87 I believe therefore that the American observations compel us to assume that the mental makeup ofa certain type of man may be considerably in uenced by his social and geographical environment 88 Possible Objection 2 It may be pointed out here that the change of type which has been observed in America is in a way analogous to the difference oftype that has been observed in Europe in a comparison between the urban population and the rural population 88 0 Response to Objection 2 Environmental factors greater mixture not natural selection causes the changes in type And ifenvironmental factors like greater exposure to chances to mix in urban areas account for changes in type then Boas argument still holds Modification exists but the extent to which it will exist cannot be predicted 0 Conclusion Questions for future study 1 What produces change in human types 2 Can these changes be directed Boas claims that this question cannot be answered with the then current state of knowledge Against Eugenics 0 Implications of the Argument The structural changes which must necessarily accompany the modi cations of gross form are entirely unknown and the physiological functions which are affected by the new environment cannot even be surmised 88 o Alain Locke 0 Three positions ofthe connection between race and culture Two views he disagrees with 0 Old View 0 People only develop the culture because of race 0 Newer View 0 Culture and race are not connected at all Locke s View 0 He wants to put forth a social ethnic kind of race 0 Culture is what causes race 0 Traits of Locke s concept of race With the idea that races are coming from cultures Races are being made up of cultural elements People should group themselves together on their own 0 The groups that they came up with themselves should be their own race 0 Locke s rejection of evolutionary theories of race Revolutionary Theory 0 People like Gobineau o Pyramid of civilization and everyone wants to be on the top We are all headed towards the same goal Rejecting that every culture is headed in the same direction lnstead different cultures are all on different paths 0 We cannot judge were they are because we do not know where they want to go 0 Not every group of people necessarily wants to be on the same track as us therefore we cannot judge them like that o Locke s call to action Concerned with the way that we study other cultures He encourages his new model 0 Principle oforganic interpretation 0 Look at them according to how they see themselves 0 Principle of cultural relativity 0 Once we understand that we also need to respect those values and how they see themselves Judge by their own way of life not ours or your own 0 0 Ashley Montagu 0 Process of RaceMaking Omelet Analogy Take some eggs and broccoli and cheese and peppers and add it all together to cook up an omelet 0 Once the omelet has been made you only see one thing the omelet o The ingredients themselves are lost This is how race was made 0 You mix up all the traits 0 You do not see individual traits anymore now you just see one single race even ifthe traits do not match within the race 0 Denial of the objective reality of race Race is arti cial we made it up for our own convenience c That itself goes against that idea Because there is no basis and facet it only leads to confusion c We forget the fact that we made it up ourselves He wants us to back away from using race because it is not objective Xenogenesis o The supposed production of an individual completely different from either of its parents 0 Lilith s Broad the collection ofthe three books the first being Dawn was formally known as Xenogenesis Characters in Dawn Events plot line of Dawn Conflicts present in Dawn Lilith s fears 0 Having Children 0 Waking People Up Lilith s work Lilith s Plan 0 Learn and Run Learn what we can from the Oankali and once you get to Earth just to run Differences between Oankali and Humanity ls Lilith human Yes or No Why not Is this a good question Why not 0 Human Human Appearance Enhanced her Human Genome did not modify it Human Goal Bonding Process is Human 0 Not Human Bonds with Oankali Physical Enhancements plastic Surgery Unnatural Abilities Opens Walls Body Chemistry Chemical Bonds Linda Alcoff 0 Role of Vision in Racial Identification We think when we see race we are just perceiving but she thinks that when we see race there is already a process of interpreting race What is important to us and what is not Visual Race makes this assumption that we are seeing something that is out there in the world but really we are making this interpretation She thinks that we can unlearn to see race 0 Perceiving vs Seeing Perceiving O o Literally the act of using the senses to take in information Seeing c That plus interpretation We think when we see race we are just perceiving but she thinks that when we see race there is already a process of interpreting race The Suture Example Move about the two brothers 0 Black brother and white brother 0 Accident where black brother is injured but they think it s the white one c He inherits the white brothers life even though he has black skin She is trying to show how we are colorblind but we are not 0 Moving away from visual based model She is trying to show what race on identity and recognition model may look like 0 Because everyone sees him as white and he thinks of himself as white so he becomes white 0 Characters in Passing O O O O lrene Redfield She only passes if she is in public spaces Bryan Redfield lrene s Husband a Black Doctor Junior and Ted Red eld Bryan and lrene s children Clare KendryBellew She keeps her passing a secret even from close family members JohnJack Bellew Claire s Husband and white racists Margery Bellew Clare and John s child Gertrude and Fred Martin Friends of Irene and Clare from childhood They pass for public reasons only Zulena The Redfield s servant Hugh Wentworth Felise Freeland A black woman who is friends with lrene Dave Freeland A black man Felise s husband 0 Events in Passing 0 Part 1 o Part2 o Part3 Chapter 1 o Irene gets the letter from Clare about how she misses her and kind of talks about Clare s past Chapter 2 o Irene recalls the meeting in Chicago at the restaurant Chapter 3 o Irene meets Clare at her house in Chicago along with Gertrude They find out that she is hiding her passing from her husband Chapter 4 o Irene leaves to go back to New York She reads another letter from Clare Chapter 1 o Irene return to New York and talks to her husband about the Clare issue Chapter 2 0 Its been five days since she received the letter from Clare and she has yet to return something Clare shows up at the Redfield s house and convinces Rene to take to the dance at with Hugh Chapter 3 0 It s the ball and they just talk about how everyone thinks Clare is beautiful Chapter 4 o Clare stopped by more and more often She would go to parties with Irene and Brian Sometimes even Brian if Irene didn t want to go She would even stop by to formally dine with the family Chapter 1 0 They had tea at the Redfield s and Irene comes up with the idea that Brian was cheating on her with Clare Clare just showed up at the house or Brian invited her Chapter 2 o Irene thinks about the in delity Chapter 3 o Irene goes with Felise Freeland to go downtown to shop and they run into John Bellew and he realizes that Felise is a black woman and they run off with out saying anything Chapter 4 o Clare decides to go to the Freeland party with the Redfield s because she thinks her husband is going out of town They show up and John Bellew shows up


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