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ENGLISH 1A03 Lecture Notes - Gaston Bachelard, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

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Jeffery Donaldson

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March 6/2013
English 1A03
The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Repeated pattern of confinement
- Sense of entrapment / imprisonment
- The change of our psychological experiences
o The sudden glimpse of freedom and stirring of imagination
- The experience of confinement and the attempt to get better
- Relationship between sickness and confinement
o Husbands perspective: because she is ill, she has to be kept in a protective space
Confined into the illness
The husband sees the desire to express herself creatively as the illness itself
He identifies creative activity with sickness
o Her perspective: Trying to break loose by writing things down
She wants to write a journal but it tires her
She sees that as an avenue of escape expressing creative energy
Eventually creative energy will break loose
She identifies creative activity with liberation
- “dead paper” indicates that there is a certain detachment in her mind as well
o A conditioning of what the paper is before she starts to write
o “this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind contrasting paradox
o Pattern of death and life
- Doppelganger motif
o She seems to have a shadow figure
o She actually becomes to final character that is suggested
She is no longer talking about a person in the wallpaper trying to break lose
Rather she is the woman in the wallpaper that was confined and is now lose
They become one in the final moment
This is an exchange of communication
Sees a person, identifies with them, and then joins them in every sense
Could it be the moment of her greatest sanity rather than something crazy?
- Wallpaper
o Hides things
o Common in the Victorian era
- What she is creating in the journal is herself
o She has released herself in the journal as well, not just from the wallpaper
- Writing and wallpaper are closely linked
- The story IS the journal entries
- Poems ask questions of orientation (in space):
o What am I, where am I, how am I, what and / or who am I related to?
- Stories ask questions of destiny (movement in time):
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