November 30, 2004

Progession of feminism in The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Gilman was a young feminist, and I believe that she uses the character of Jane to progress the concept of feminism in The Yellow Wallpaper. When the story begins, Jane is not yet as sick as she will become, and at this point she tries to discuss with John about the current living arrangments. Although she has not been confined to the room yet, John does not want her to leave the house. It is at this point in the story that her supression begins.
When Jane returns to her journal after describing the wallpaper, it seems to the reader that she is spending the majority of her time in the room. Before Jane was allowed to roam the house, but now it seems that John pretty much confines her to her room. Even when she tries talking to John about the house and the room he hushes her. John as confined her to the house, to the room, does not allow her to take part in any sort of activity, and now does not even take her seriously let alone talk to her like an adult. The only sort of outlet Jane has is her journal.
Even though it seems that Jane has become a slave to the wallpaper, obsessing over its every aspect, she no longer takes an interest in John. And as we know John passes out in the end as he sees her frantically ripping down the wallpaper.
Gilman progresses Jane's triumph throughout the story. At first Jane allows John to supress her and confine her, but then she begins to come out. She takes no interest in him, she sleeps during the day in order to give her full attention to the wallpaper at night. Then Jane comes out literally, from the wallpaper and even adds that she must creep (step over) over John, who is now under her.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 4:33 PM | Comments (0)

The amazing theatre

I have come to realize that whenever I read something from American Literature, it makes me think of a movie or something visual that I have experienced. The Yellow Wallpaper makes me think of psychological thriller movies, Poe makes me think of Alfred Hitchcock, Brer Rabbit relates to Looney Toons, African language in Huck Finn and Brer Rabbit reminds me of The Green Mile, and The Girl of the Golden West reminds me of seeing my first Broadway play. Theatre is truely amazing. It boggles my mind seeing a play that is almost like watching a movie. Everything is so dramatic, precise, exaggerated, and realistic. The first Broadway play I saw was Aida and it was amazing. I think it would really be interesting to see The Girl of the Golden West reproduced as a play today. The story was fun, the characters were all unique and different, and not to mention the setting of the old west.

Also, plays today are very popular and imagine what David Belasco could do if he were a playwright or producer today. With all the technological advances of the present, Belasco could probably produce some extravegent plays.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 3:26 PM | Comments (1)

African language in Brer Rabbit

First off I have to say that when reading the Brer Rabbit story (Unclue Remus Initiates the Little Boy) all I could think of was Looney Toons. Even though the langauge was hard to read, the langauge paints a clear picture for the reader. All I could picture was a rabbit like Bugs Bunny and a cartoon fox pulling stunts like in the Looney Toons cartoons. Another concept that was brought to my mind after reading Erin's blog, was that even though the langauge was really hard to get through, the story wouldn't have the same effect as if it were written in regualr English. Also when you read language like that, you can almost picture the character talking. For example, in Huck Finn, when Jim would talk I pictured this large, uneducated, humbling, black guy. I was pretty much picturing John Coffee from the movie the Green Mile. Although the reading was difficult it is very colorful and animated!

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 3:10 PM | Comments (0)

J. Henry

John Henry! I like this brand of folklore. The legend of John Henery I think is especially prevelent to this area because of the mining towns and the steel mills in Pittsburgh. I live out by Mammoth Park, so even though I take it for granted, I see old coke ovens everyday. Even when I visit Pittsburgh I forget how important Pittsburgh was to the steal industry. The small town of Mt. Pleasant used to be call "Hell Town" back in the 20's and 30's because it was so black and dirty from soot and coal that it was like hell. (Can't remember where I read that) Anyway, like Linda mentions in her blog about John Henery, technology is rapidly replacing humans. We can still be proud of our advancements in technology, but we should appreciate the hard work that we came from, because it is all around us. Next time your in Pittsburg have a cold Iron (or IC light) and appreciate the hard workers that got us where we are today!

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 2:51 PM | Comments (0)

Native American Literature

Thank god, I though I was the only one who disliked the Native American literature. I read that Erin, Amanda, Nabila, and Melissa H. all agreed that the Native American Literature was hard to read. I will agree that although the folklore and the legends that the Native Americans embrace is quite interesting, it was hard and somewhat boring to read. Also the Native American literature seemed out of place to me in the course of the class. Even though the Native American lit falls within the time period we were studying, it didn't seem to be in sync with stories like the Devil's Dictionary, The Yellow Wallpaper, Huck Finn, or any of the other works that we've studied. Maybe the Native American Literature would have had a better impact if we would have discussed it more in class.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 1:43 PM | Comments (0)

Huck Finn

In our class discussions it seemed that the class had mixed emotions as to what they thought about the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Personally I think that is why The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was such a good book. There were so many themes, ideas, concepts, and questions that most everyone in the class had formed some sort of opinion on the text. The book was not one sided. In my oral presentation (which made for a good discussion blog) I talked about the elements of Freedom in the story. Jenn Haun talked about folklore and supersticion. Many people argued about the concept of adolescence and Huck's behavior. Paul C. even went as far as to say that Tom was a phallic symbol for Huck! Freud might agree!
Eventhough I did enjoy the story, the various discussions that the book raises is what makes it such a good book. Some hated it, some liked it, but there is no denying the contraversy the book brings.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 1:04 PM | Comments (2)

Robinson and his band of characters!

After reading Linda's blog I started really thinking about Robinson's characters. Everyone can relate someone they know to the characters Miniver Cheevy, Richard Corey, and Aaron Stark. I know I can! I have an uncle who's attitude is the same as Miniver Cheevy's. When I read the story of Miver Cheevy I get the sense of a man who lives in a dream world. Cheevy lives in the past and was "born to late." As he longs for what he could have and should have been his present life suffers. But Cheevy does not he care, he just scratched his head, coughs and keeps on drinking. My uncle E. resembles this!

Richard Corey reminds me of people that you know growing up who committ suicide. I've know two people who committed suicide, and the question everyone asks is why? What was wrong, they were so successful and had so much, why? Like Robinson writes in the poem, Corey was a gentlemen who seemed to have it all. He was schooled he was rich, and he was polite so why would he want to kill himself?

I can't think of anyone in particular that resembles Aaron Stark, but I'm sure I will someday. The story of Aaron Stark makes me think of a lonely man who walks around town from bar to bar scaring little kids (and adults). He would be the kind of person who is cheap and only laughs at tragedy. Aaron Stark would be the kind of person you see when your with your dad somewhere and your dad shakes his head saying, "there's old Aaron Stark, boy is he a nut." Then drives away.

I wonder if Robinson based these fictional characters on actual people? Earlier in one of my discussion blogs I wrote that I didn't like how Robinson's poems were like cliffhangers, but know I see why. By doing that the reader is able to fill in the blanks for themselves, and maybe fill in those blanks with the idea of someone they knew.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2004

Robinson. What do you think?

What I liked about Edwin Arlington Robinson was that his poems were short and entertaining. What I did not like about his poems, was that they left me wanting to know more. 'Richard Corey' is a good example of this. Robinson describes the man for 15 lines and then just adds, "Went home and put a bullet through his head." His poems are like cliffhangers, they make you want to know more, or what happened.

My question to the blogging community is, did you like the way Robinson ended his poems? Do you think it adds to his poetry or distracts from it? I'm curious to see who prefers the cliffhangers and who's like me and wants an explanation and ending!

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 4:41 PM | Comments (3)

The Yellow Wallpaper; a psychological thriller?!

Mostly everyone knows what Psychological Thrillers are, they are movies that have psychological concepts that makes you think. Hannibal, Seven, and Silence of the Lambs were psychological thriller movies. The more I thought about the Yellow Wallpaper, the more I began to think it was an early version of a psychological thriller. The story really made you think in depth about what was going on.

Does anyone agree or disagree with the idea that Gilman's the Yellow Wallpaper was an early version of a pyschological thriller?

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 4:22 PM | Comments (4)


Other than the Yellow Wallpaper, I think The Devil's Dictionary was a popular one with the class. In our class discussions, it was interesting to hear the different takes people got from the dictionary. Personally I agree with Paul view on the Devil's Dictionary. I think Ambrose Bierce was just having a bit of fun with the words he used. Obviously there is a sarcastic spin on the words, but it's fun. As I read through the dictionary I just had to laugh. I like a sarcastic sense of humor and the Devil's Dictionary is just that! Also, his definitions are so very bluntly true! Like HABIT for example, is defined as "a shakle for the free," and that's exactly what a habit is. Unlike the depth of the Yellow Wallpaper, I think the Devil's Dictionary is to be read lightly. It's funny. Bierce used sarcasm and whit to add blunt truths to everyday words.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 4:14 PM | Comments (0)

Popular Yellow Wallpaper

It seems to me from the class discussions and from peoples blogs that the Yellow Wallpaper was a favorite with the class. I know it was my favorite. I think this short story is so popular because it is so psychological and facinating. The Yellow Wallpaper includes elements of feminism, sexism, psychology, society, and culture. Many of my classmates brought up many good questions about the story. Erin raised a question about Gilman's choosing the color yellow, and Trisha brought up the concept of the old nursery actually being a room for a crazy person. Another reason I believe the story is so fascinating is because of Jane's supression. I could not image being a women of the 19th century and being subjected to a 'rest cure,' or not having any control or say so over my life. The story really makes your think. The Yellow Wallpaper was really an outstanding story and a fun read.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 4:02 PM | Comments (0)

I still don't like blogging (wildcard 2)

Sorry Dr. Jerz. I complained about it in the first portfolio, and I'm complaining about it again, I just hate blogging. I don't know why?! As I was reading through my classmates blogs it seems that most of them like blogging! Katie Aikens mentions that her views on blogging have changed. I just see blogging as a hassle, and I can't wait until I don't have to do it anymore!!!

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 3:30 PM | Comments (1)