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John as Role Model for Husbands in The Yellow Wallpaper

Modern day feminists’ enjoy looking into the past to find examples of female oppression. This tactic is employed in the hopes of demonstrating that oppression of their sex by the evil male populous has been going on for decades. One such work that is cited by feminists to showcase just how terrible women were treated in the first part of the twentieth century is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Feminists’ are quick to point out that the main character in this story is driven down the path of insanity by her uncaring husband. It is of their opinion that John, the main character’s husband, consistently neglects her by keeping her locked away upstairs. Other feminists argue that the main character was not actually insane, rather, she was pushed into a temporary state of delirium as a result of the state of confinement that her husband subjected her to. These same feminists will say that John’s consistent misdiagnosis of his wife’s condition smacks of incompetence. It is their theory that if the main character were a man during this same period of time, doctors would have treated the condition differently. In other words, men were not diagnosed with hysteria and bedridden for three months when they became depressed. As mentioned before, this is what some modern day feminists think. This is in stark contrast to the interpretation by us modern day realists. John was a good husband that cared deeply about his wife’s condition. He is described at the beginning of the story as being “a physician in high standing” (The Norton Anthology, p. 658). This description alone offers deep insight into what kind of treatment his wife was receiving. It is hard to imagine that any woman who is married to an extremely prominent doct…

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…he would have taken that golden opportunity to flee the so-called dungeon that her husband had created for her. It can only be assumed that she enjoyed the prison that she created for herself since she didn’t flee at any moment of opportunity.

In summary, John should be championed as a role model for all aspiring husbands. He consistently showed complete devotion and concern for his wife throughout the story. He did everything within his power to make sure that she would have an expedited recovery from her ailments. John bent over backwards to ensure that all of his wife’s needs were taken care of. Leave it to modern day feminists to find harm in that.


Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Ed. Nina Baym. Fifth Edition, Volume 2. W.W. Norton

An Analysis of Up in Michigan

An Analysis of Up in Michigan

My choosing this story for an analysis is based on what I think is the very
American feeling there is to this short story. The title alone has this
American ring to it: Up in Michigan. From the start settling the story deep into the soil of the country. The title seems like the beginning of an old tale, once upon a time up in Michigan…it ends there and propels the
“unfinished”, never settled way of the story along. And at the same time it signifies that this is just another story, told a hundred times before.

The story is set in a very small town, which plays a great role in the way the characters interact with one another. The two main characters of the story get presented each in their little paragraph in the beginning of the story. Their way of meeting each other is, one gets the feeling, not by chance, but rather because the town is so small that they could never avoid meeting each other. A phrase like “One day she found that she liked it he way the hair was black
…”(p.59) indicates that the girl Liz’ falling in love with Jim the blacksmith is not the falling in love of a metropolitan person who is marked by the many choices of a bigger environment. Liz’s love or interest in Jim comes from there being no other it seems and so with time she has developed an interest in him that is totally based on a picture she makes of him in her mind. What is significant here is the obvious difference in the way the two characters are described by Hemingway. Liz likes Jim very much; Jim just likes her face.
She thinks about him all the time; he never thinks of her.
There is a basic unbalan…

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… the death of a young girls dreams, it is at the same time the initiation of a life. It is the simple act of growing up, moving into another world, where nothing is as you dream it will be. Where bitterness is an unescapeable part of your life. Where your hair can not always be neat and your clothes might get dirty sometimes. The fact that Jim lies unconscious on the dock as if he now has the role of the dead buck, just emphasizes Liz coming to consciousness about her own life. She rises from the battlefield like a heroine, at first she shakes Jim in the fainting hope that there might be a way to get back. (“…shook him once more just to make sure”), but then realizing her fate she stoically takes of her coat and as an imitation of the
Pieta-figure puts her coat over her past life, that in the figure of the drunken Jim, has passed away.

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