Do What Most Old Fashioned


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do what most old fashioned Yellow
Wall Paper And Women Role

In the nineteenth century, women in literature were often portrayed as
submissive to men. Literature of the period often characterized women as
oppressed by society, as well as by the male influences in their lives. The
Yellow Wallpaper presents the tragic story of a woman's descent into depression
and madness. Gilman once wrote "Women's subordination will only end when
women lead the struggle for their own autonomy, thereby freeing man as well as
themselves, because man suffers from the distortions that come from dominance,
just as women are scarred by the subjugation imposed upon them" (Lane 5).
The Yellow Wallpaper brilliantly illustrates this philosophy. The narrator's
declining mental health is reflected through the characteristics of the house
she is trapped in and her husband, while trying to protect her, is actually
destroying her. The narrator of the story goes with her doctor/husband to stay
in a colonial mansion for the summer. The house is supposed to be a place where
she can recover from severe postpartum depression. She loves her baby, but knows
she is not able to take care of him. "It is fortunate Mary is so good with
the baby. Such a dear baby! And yet I cannot be with him, it makes me so
nervous" (Gilman 642). The symbolism utilized by Gilman is somewhat askew
from the conventional. A house usually symbolizes security. In this story the
opposite is true. The protagonist, whose name we never learn, feels trapped by
the walls of the house, just as she is trapped by her mental illness. The
windows of her room, which normally would symbolize a sense of freedom, are
barred, holding her in. (Biedermann 179, 382). From the outset the reader is
given a sense of the domineering tendencies of the narrator's husband, John. The
narrator tells us: "John is a physician, and perhaps (I would not say
it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my
mind) perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster" (Gilman
640). It is painfully obvious that she feels trapped and unable to express her
fears to her husband. "You see, he does not believe I am sick. And what can
one do? If a physician of high standing and one's own husband assures friends
and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary
nervous depression a slight hysterical tendency what is one to do?"
Her husband is not the only male figure who dominates and oppresses her. Her
brother, also a doctor, "says the same thing" (Gilman 640-641).
Because the story is written in diary format, we feel especially close to this
woman. We are in touch with her innermost thoughts. The dominance of her
husband, and her reaction to it, is reflected throughout the story. The narrator
is continually submissive, bowing to her husband's wishes, even though she is
unhappy and depressed. Her husband has adopted the idea that she must have
complete rest if she is to recover. This is a direct parallel to Gilman's life,
wherein during her illness she was treated by a doctor who introduced her to the
"rest cure." She was instructed to live a domestic life, only engage
in intellectual activities two hours a day, and "never to touch pen, brush,
or pencil again" as long as she lived (Gilman 640). In this story, the
narrator's husband, John, does not want her to work. "So I . . . am
absolutely forbidden to work' until I am well again"(Gilman 641). John
does not even want her to write. "There comes John, and I must put this
away he hates to have me write a word"(Gilman 642). It is also a direct
allusion to Gilman's personal experience that the narrator is experiencing
severe postpartum depression. Gilman suffered from the same malady after the
birth of her own daughter (Gilman 639). It is interesting that the room her
husband chooses for them, the room the narrator hates, is the nursery. The
narrator describes the nursery as having barred windows and being
"atrocious" (Gilman 641-642). The narrator's response to the room is a
further example of her submissive behavior. "I don't like our room a bit. I
wanted one downstairs that opened onto the piazza and had roses all over the
window, and such pretty old fashioned chintz hangings! But John would not hear
of it" (Gilman 641). Although she is practically a prisoner in the room,
she is given ... more

do what most old fashioned

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Ernest Hemmingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak
Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real
estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the
importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway
invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He
believed that one should not profit from something important for
the good of mankind. Ernest's father, a man of high ideals, was
very strict and censored the books he allowed his children to read.
He forbad Ernest's sister from studying ballet for it was
coeducational, and dancing together led to hell and damnation.
Grace Hall Hemingway, Ernest's mother, considered herself pure
and proper. She was a dreamer who was upset at anything which
disturbed her perception of the world as beautiful. She hated
dirty diapers, upset stomachs, and cleaning house; they were not
fit for a lady. She taught her children to always act with
decorum. She adored the singing of the birds and the smell of
flowers. Her children were expected to behave properly and to
please her, always.
Mrs. Hemingway treated Ernest, when he was a small boy, as if
he were a female baby doll and she dressed him accordingly. This
arrangement was alright until Ernest got to the age when he wanted
to be a gun-toting Pawnee Bill. He began, at that time, to pull
away from his mother, and never forgave her for his humiliation.
The town of Oak Park, where Ernest grew up, was very old
fashioned and quite religious. The townspeople forbad the word
virgin from appearing in school books, and the word breast was
questioned, though it appeared in the Bible.
Ernest loved to fish, canoe and explore the woods. When he
couldn't get outside, he escaped to his room and read books. He
loved to tell stories to his classmates, often insisting that a
friend listen to one of his stories. In spite of his mother's
desire, he played on the football team at Oak Park High School.
As a student, Ernest was a perfectionist about his grammar and
studied English with a fervor. He contributed articles to the
weekly school newspaper. It seems that the principal did not
approve of Ernest's writings and he complained, often, about the
content of Ernest's articles.
Ernest was clear about his writing; he wanted people to see
and feel and he wanted to enjoy himself while writing. Ernest
loved having fun. If nothing was happening, mischievous Ernest
made something happen. He would sometimes use forbidden words just
to create a ruckus. Ernest, though wild and crazy, was a warm,
caring individual. He loved the sea, mountains and the stars and
hated anyone who he saw as a phoney.
During World War I, Ernest, rejected from service because of a
bad left eye, was an ambulance driver, in Italy, for the Red
Cross. Very much like the hero of A Farewell to Arms, Ernest is
shot in his knee and recuperates in a hospital, tended by a caring
nurse named Agnes. Like Frederick Henry, in the book, he fell in
love with the nurse and was given a medal for his heroism.
Ernest returned home after the war, rejected by the nurse with
whom he fell in love. He would party late into the night and
invite, to his house, people his parents disapproved of. Ernest's
mother rejected him and he felt that he had to move from home.
He moved in with a friend living in Chicago and he wrote
articles for The Toronto Star. In Chicago he met and then married
Hadley Richardson. She believed that he should spend all his time
in writing, and bought him a typewriter for his birthday. They
decided that the best place for a writer to live was Paris, where
he could devote himself to his writing. He said, at the time, that
the most difficult thing to write about was being a man. They
could not live on income from his stories and so Ernest, again,
wrote for The Toronto Star.
Ernest took Hadley to Italy to show her where he had been
during the war. He was devastated, everything had changed,
everything was destroyed.
Hadley became pregnant and was sick all the time. She and
Ernest decided to move to Canada. He had, by then written three
stories and ten poems. Hadley gave birth to a boy who they named
John Hadley Nicano Hemingway. Even though he had his family Ernest
was unhappy and decided to return to Paris. It was in Paris that
Ernest got word that a publisher wanted to print his book, ... more

do what most old fashioned

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