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Lecture 14

ENGLISH 1A03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: The Yellow Wallpaper, Dramatic Monologue, Sigmund Freud

Course Code
Jeffery Donaldson

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November 2, 2017
What is it about?
A girl in therapy who’s trying to cope with a death in her family
QUESTION ARISES: Who died? (Her mother)
The trauma that’s hidden behind, and the dexterity she puts up as a front with ‘just pretending’
The ironic thing is that the possibility is what the narrator thinks is not going to happen at all
The therapist is in control of the tensions, which are productive, and he does this by
asking questions
Dr. Semenchuk, has a strange personality, with underlying sexual things, he is
incompetent, however he is a vehicle of who the narrator explains the story, in which she
knows the truth, but she processes it through him
He is an antagonist to the narrator; Hannah (beginning of the story, what his name was
going to be?) [11-89]
The narrator is not in control, because she seems insecure, and she is trying to portray a
strong side of her, however she is just a teenager and she is going through a lot of
emotions, she is stubborn
The Nirvana Principle has to do with a psychological aspect determined by Sigmund Freud
The Nirvana Principle: the psyche's characteristic tendency to reduce inner tensions and
approach an inorganic state as if responding to the death instinct.
Connection between:
- The Nirvana Principle
- The Story of an Hour
- The Yellow Wallpaper
All intertwine with the feminist perspective, and a strong female role, that have some conflict
they are dealing with, and overcoming
How they cope with the social architecture of the dominant male’s world of society
Specific setting: takes place in a room, and the story revolves arounds it
Analysis: First Paragraph
“For the record, his real name’s Dr. Semenchuk” (89).
When she has to prove herself, or that she has to prove how closely related the therapist is
to the nicknames she comes up with (a pig).
She’s putting up a front, again she is just pretending, of how he is playing shrink, even
though he is a therapist trying to help, however, she doesn’t trust him, because she is so
There is a silent listener (kind of like a dramatic monologue) aligning the reader with purposes
Possible Approaches:
Storytelling as therapy
Narrative structure
Aboriginal contexts
The doppelgänger motif
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