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April 6, 2007

Red tape or yellow wall-paper: You gotta work through it

Feldstein, ''Reader, Text, and Ambiguous Referentiality in 'The Yellow Wallpaper''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)
“Stated another way, ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper” is more a writerly than a readerly text, which Gilman designed to challenge her readers to produce, not merely consume.” (407)

I didn’t even know “writerly” was a word—sweet! Feldstein took the wall-paper to a whole different level as he explained the history of it. I didn’t realize that the hyphen in wall-paper made everything so different as well as the protagonist’s name. Feldstein at first seemed to be playing “good critic” by using historical and formalist methods, but then…zing-pow! He busted out the wallpaper as a sign of not only her madness but a more Freudian/mirror meaning. When we discuss this in class, it’s almost a sore subject because everyone gets such passionate opinions about what the “real meaning” of the story is. While we may talk about whether or not she killed herself, Feldstein dug deeper and asked the question of whether it is supernatural or uncanny (hiya, Freud). We don’t know if it’s about her doubles (the ghosts within the wallpaper who are other suppressed women) or a reflection of herself. It’s all very confusing. That hyphen is killing Feldstein just as it kills us. While he says it’s all “inconclusive,” at least we know someone out there is feeling our pain.

Posted by ErinWaite at April 6, 2007 11:39 AM


Yay, you commented on the article I'm going to present on! May I use your ideas for my presentation? I love how you presented them.

Posted by: Nessa at April 6, 2007 4:11 PM

Sure! I would be flattered! Thanks and I'm looking forward to your presentation :)

Posted by: Erin at April 10, 2007 11:57 AM

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