November 28, 2004


Additional Quotes:

Davison also says, “…[the Female Gothic tradition] boundaries are blurred – the house may be revealed to be a prison and the husband a prisonmaster” (55). The frightening surroundings the narrator lives in contributes to the thought that “marriage becomes the ultimate prison” (55).

Davison notes, “the barred windows are not to protect children, but to protect inmates from jumping out” (58).

In his, “Escaping the Jaundiced Eye: Foucauldian Panopticism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,” John S. Bak writes,
It is a room whose wallpaper reduces an artistic and articulate woman to a beast, stripped entirely of her sanity. and humanity and left crawling on all-fours in circuits, or smooches, about the room. For this reason, feminist critic Elaine Hedges wrote in 1973 that the "paper symbolizes her situation as seen by the men who control her and hence her situation as seen by herself" (Afterword 51), a view echoed by later critics. "The Yellow Wallpaper," then, became a feminist text that indicted the men who were responsible for the narrator's physical confinement and subsequent mental demise (39).


Bak, John S. “Escaping the Jaundiced Eye: Foucauldian Panopticism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.” Studies in Short Fiction, 00393789, Winter94, Vol. 31, Issue 1

Davison, Carol Margaret. “Haunted House/Haunted Heroine: Female Gothic Closets in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Taylor and Francis, Inc, 2004.

“Gothic.” Webster’s New World Dictionary. 2003.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper. 28 October 2004. .

Hume, Beverly A. “Gilman’s ‘Interminable Grotesque’ : The Narrator of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Studies in Short Fiction, 00393789, Fall91, Vol. 28, Issue 4.

Rose, Jane Atteridge. “Images of the Self: The Example of Rebecca Harding Davis and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.” English Language Notes, 0013-8282, June 1, 1992, Vol. 29, Issue 4.

Suess, Barbara A. “The Writings on the Wall Symbolic Orders in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Women's Studies, 00497878, Jan/Feb2003, Vol. 32, Issue 1.

Posted by KatieAikins at 4:24 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2004

Portfolio Entry #2

Since we are following the same format for the blogging portfolio, I am going to use the same explanations as seen in portfolio #1. I feel that these entries are much more in-depth and analytical than anything I posted prior to the October submission. Perhaps, this is because over the course of American Literature I, not only did blogging become more comfortable, but it became a more enjoyable habit.

The assignment has not changed; however, the blogger has. I think this portfolio is exemplifies a maturation. Not only in the number of items covered, but also in the depth in which the items have been examined. A number of other blogs have also improved this semester. Congratulations to our class for doing so well as a blogging community :)

According to, a blog is "a personal Web site that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, also may include journal entries, commentaries and recommendations compiled by the user." also offers this definition of the word portfolio, "a portable case for holding material, such as loose papers, photographs, or drawings. The materials collected in such a case, especially when representative of a person's work: a photographer's portfolio; an artist's portfolio of drawings." In this case, a blogging portfolio is the collection of blogged posts that can be linked electronically for added convenience to the reader. The goal of this portfolio is to unite the works we have studied in class with our personal thoughts and analysis. We would also like to illustrate the engaging discussion with our classmates, and others, we are making through the use of blogs.

Explanation of the Collection/Coverage:

This portion of the portfolio contains the representative information that we have studied, it is inclusive of all the entries which are important to demonstrate understanding of the material studied. Ths portion of the portfolio also represents how the class engages in an electronice conversation by posting responses/comments to the blogs.

The Devil's Dictionary
Native American Literature
Huck Finn: Chapters 1 to 15
Huck Finn Chapters 16-31
Huck Finn- To the End
John Henry/Remus/Tarbaby/Why the Negro is Black
The Yellow Wallpaper


This section of the portfolio is to demonstrate the ability to engage in through, resourceful examination of the texts at hand. Depth entries can be likened to writing research reports, sans the MLA style formating. However, they do contain helpful web links for the reader of the blog to gather more background/information on the selection.

The four selections from my blog which best identify with the Depth section of the portfolio are:
The Yellow Wallpaper
John Henry/Remus/Tarbaby/Why the Negro is Black
Huck Finn- To the End
Native American Literature


This portion of the portfolio is used to illustrate the ongoing use of weblogs as a medium to interact with classmates.

Nabila Udin inspired me to think about race-relations in Huck Finn. Nabila also inspired me to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Thanks, Miss Nabila.

Katie Lambert got me to start thinking about my own beliefs in comparison to the creation stories we were examining in class. Thank you, also, Lamb.

Dr. Jerz sets the wheels of paper writing into motion by suggesting a topic. Thank you, Dr. Jerz.

The aforementioned bloggers inspired me to reflect on some big questions from the texts; (or they shed some light on the darkness that can be called writing a paper!)


This section of the blog serves to function as a tool which sparks further examination of the piece of literature at hand.

Melissa Hagg and I have an on going discussion about these short stories.

Nabila Uddin and I discuss Truth and other themes in Huck Finn.

Melissa, Nabila, and myself have a convo about the history of Perkins-Gilman and our thoughts on the text.


This portion of the portfolio examines the different styles of comments one can post on their peers webblogs. The categories are: the comment primo (first person to comment on one's blog and leave insight), the comment grande (an explanation of thoughts on one's blog entry complete with other URL links), the comment informative (offering a more detailed explanation to a classmate), and the link gracious (giving credit to a classmate who sparked the creative/the cognitive process for you.)

I shared Linda Fondrk's sentiments about the rapid increase in technology.

Katie Lambert is always so gracious with compliments. This is a thank you, and a reciprocation: Katie spread an entirely new light on John's fainting.

Nabila Uddin always amazes me with her insights. I felt compelled to tell her this, and to ask her her thoughts about the Romeo and Juliet use.


This is the blog entry that is to best exemplify my achievements as a blogger. Unfortunately, I fancy myself an extraordinarily bland individual that just really likes to read. I am not sure if just writing this would be a fair assesment of how I am as a student webblogger, because I have nothing concrete to say about anything. I am not an expert at one particular subject, I haven't had any marked achievements, I am just ordinary. My wildcard entry is about myself, I am the only thing I can really talk about with some familiarity. Hopefully, I will be able to better introduce myself with this entry.

This is my blogging portfolio. Perhaps it will enlighten you, the reader, to the wide world of blogging and the ongoing conversation webblogs can create.

After doing this for an entire semester, I realized web blogging can really shape your way of thinking. Writing a web blog is no different than writing a journal. However, web blogs are a rather public forum. Perhaps that is what I am still a tad uncomfortable with; though, one really can learn about the way classmates think and really reflect on literature or even a day in class. Will I make a personal blog anytime soon? Probably not. There is nothing I would want to report on that I would want to share with the entire internet. Keeping a blog about literature is a good way to further understand and to examine the text in question. Read other people's blogs; classmates you mighn't get to talk to, have something to say. It is an open forum, explore.

Whatever you choose to do, just remember: it may look tough in the beginning, but a little time (and patience) turns coal into diamonds.

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:04 PM | Comments (17)

David Belasco: The Girl of the Golden West

A short history, covering the playwright:

"1853–1931, American theatrical manager and producer, b. San Francisco. He was actively connected with the theater from his youth, and while associated with Dion Boucicault in Virginia City, Nev., he was first exposed to scenic realism. At 19 he became stage manager of the Baldwin Theatre in San Francisco. His first venture as a playwright was when, in 1880, in association with James A. Herne, he toured the country in Hearts of Oak, a play adapted by them from an old melodrama. Connections with the Frohmans brought him to New York City in association (1882–84) with the Madison Square Theatre and later (1886–90) as stage manager of the Lyceum. He became an independent producer in 1895. Known for his minutely detailed and spectacular stage settings, Belasco showed inventiveness in his use of stage lighting. A creator of stars, he was lucratively associated with Mrs. Leslie Carter, David Warfield, Blanche Bates, Frances Starr, Ina Claire, and Lenore Ulric. His plays, mostly adaptations, were vehicles for his actors and for his lavish settings. His most successful writing combinations were with Herne, Franklyn Fyles, Henry C. De Mille, and John Luther Long. In 1907 he built the Stuyvesant Theater, later known as the Belasco, during his fight against the Theatrical Syndicate of the 1890s. The New York Public Library has his collection of theatrical materials. He wrote The Theatre through Its Stage Door (1919, repr. 1969)."

"The Girl of the Golden West" is a melodrama. A girl gambles it all for the man she finally loves.

Sarah Elwood
had some interesting comments to note about the action/action shifts in the play. It never really occured to me how the action would just stop at times. Kudos, to Sarah, for pointing that out to our class :)

And if you're into opera, check out this site for this Italian song.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

November 6, 2004

Wild Card Entry: A Few of My Favorite Things

Noble be man,
Helpful and good!
For that alone
Sets him apart
From every other creature
On earth.
(from The Divine, 1783) -Goethe

Since we are free to blog about whatever we would like: I would like to share a few of my favorite things....


Person: my mother
Drink: coffee
Food: chocolate
Car: Mercedes Benz SLR McClaren complete with raj doors, this car is HOT and fast and all around wonderful!
Hobby: reading; in the summer, swimming
Thing to collect: purses
Place: the beach, especially the seashore in Cape May because the town isn't commercialized. Or the city, especially Atlanta.
Season: spring
Book: there are a few of those, but I really like Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, Larry Watson's Montana 1948, Janet Fitch's White Oleander, Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye; I think I could go on about this subject, but I will stop myself.
Color: red
Holiday: Easter
Painting: Munch's "The Scream"
Subject to Study, besides English: Theater
Obsession: makeup
Song: this is a provisional; whatever is on the radio is great. My best friend from Bethany loves the screaming vocals of rocker Geddy Lee from Rush; I can listen to this one minute, and the next, be 'singing' along to JadaKiss or Charlie Daniels. It just depends on the moment.

This is what I wanted to share for our wildcard blog; if there is anything else you would like to know, just ask. I consider myself a pretty simple, boring person - so there isn't too much to share. Mea culpa.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:48 PM | Comments (3)


After reading "Richard Corey," "Miniver Cheery," "Aaron Stark," "The Mill," and "Mr. Flood's Party," I have noted, and questioned, a few specifics.

First, why are the spellings in the title of the poem, "Richard CorEy," and the spelling, 'Cory,' in the text, different? In this poem, it is interesting to note the creative use of sole to crown and the dual meanings. Then, the character in the poem puts a bullet through that same crown. Very sad how on day to day we can go through life, misled by outward impressions and never truly understand the innermost feelings of a person. Everything around Richard "glittered," he was "richer than a king;" everyone "wished we were in his place," or "waited for the light." This poem, is so sad. Get to know others, don't just guess at who they are, or what they are like. Outwardly, Richard Cory may have been a King - but clearly, his soul, wasn't as royal. This was such a bittersweet poem.

"Miniver Cheery" also caught my interest; not only because his name implied cheerfulness - though he was unhappy, but also because he seemed to admire the arts. He talked about knights, Camelot, the merchant class Medici family who were highly involved in Italian theater, and Art. He saw all the beauty in the world; yet, at the poem's end, he was hitting the bottle. Is this beauty not enough?

"Aaron Stark," was a stark awakening; he was a miser who hated to be pitied. Interesting concept.

I am not sure how to react to the other poems; I am interested in the class discussion/oral presentation we will study about these poems.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:01 PM | Comments (4)

November 2, 2004

CPG: A Feminist Hero

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

"The glory of our race is its power of communication.
We share our strength and knowledge and rise as one; we share our failure and weakness and help each other bear it."

Charlotte Perkins Gilman,
"Our Place Today," 1891

Imagine writing eight novels, six nonfiction works, 200 short stories, hundreds of poems, plays, and thousands of essays; marrying, having a child, be coming hysterical, divorcing, marrying a first cousin, running a magazine, and starting a grassroots party that battles a retrogressive society---all in 75 short years.

Not only did Gilman lead the independent feminist revolution, but she also started a “thinking war” that provoked questions about women’s equality. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut. The daughter of Frederick Beecher and Mary Ann Fitch Perkins, she was bound for glory. Her family had a history of being movers and shakers. Lyman Beecher, her great-grandfather, was a staunch Calvinist reformer who raised a few liberal, freethinking children. One was the noted abolitionist, Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and Isabella Beecher Stowe, a famed feminist who founded the New England Suffrage Association in 1868. Beecher’s other daughter Catharine was a renowned feminist, also.

Gilman was introduced to a rather unique perspective by her aunts as she matured. Not often did a girl in the nineteenth century question men’s behavior or challenge society’s beliefs as Charlotte did. Soon after her birth, Frederick left. His departure caused quite a role reversal in Mary Ann’s life. Mary Ann was forced to work outside the home to support herself and two small children. Working was uncommon for women in those times. While watching her mother work, Charlotte began forming ideas that would eventually cause the socialized childcare system to form. This system enabled a working woman to work while ensuring that her children were being cared for.

Frederick Beecher Perkins was an individualist who cared for himself, and only himself. Because of Frederick’s beliefs Charlotte adopted that exact opposite ideas. Instead of being self-involved, Charlotte was altruistic. She put the world first, herself, second.

During her teen years, Charlotte became concerned with women’s rights and adopted feminist views. Feminism is the belief in a social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. Also at this time, she became a leading socialist. Socialism is defined as a system in which the means of producing goods are publicly owned with all sharing in the work and goods produced. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a hero to socialists and feminists everywhere. In the late 19th and early 20th century, socialism was perceived differently than now. In those days, socialism was the alternative to capitalism, the supposed root of women’s oppression. Today socialism is associated with a negative connotation and viewed by most as something that is almost communistic.

In 1884, Charlotte married Charles Walter Stetson and had a daughter. After the birth, their marriage was severely strained and Stetson placed Charlotte under the care of Dr. Silas Weir. Weir was a noted alienist, a physician who is court approved to decide a person’s metal competence, who helped Charlotte recuperate from her hysteria by isolating her for an entire summer and taking away challenging stimuli. It was during this period that Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper.” When she recovered, she left Stetson and went to California.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator is confined to her bedroom to treat nervousness caused by post-partum depression. She descends from neurasthenia, a neurotic disorder characterized by fatigue, loss of memory, weakness, and general malaise, into insanity during her confinement. Her husband insists that she remains inactive and will not let her write. The room she is in was formerly a nursery with ugly yellow wallpaper that has a recurring pattern that becomes her obsession. She begins to see the pattern as a confined woman. The narrator has an emotional breakdown, crawls on the floor, strips off the paper with her hands and finally, with her teeth.

In 1900, Gilman married her first cousin, George Houghton Gilman and continued writing. During this time she wrote Herland a book that merged feminist theory with the concept of socialism. In Herland, women are the catalysts for change, and are encouraged to live up to their full potential.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman inspired many feminists through her actions. From 1909 to 1915, she single-handedly operated a radical monthly, “The Forerunner,” giving herself an outlet to express her beliefs. In 1915, Gilman co-founded the Women’s Peace Party with Jane Addams. Batya Weinbaum writes music based on Gilman’s work.

Sadly in 1934, George Gilman passed away unexpectedly, leaving Charlotte to battle breast cancer alone. It was on August 17, 1935, that she took her life by inhaling chloroform to end the tremendous suffering.

Gilman’s message is still revered: we all have the opportunity and responsibility to contribute to the betterment of humankind. This message of empowerment is pertinent for the challenging times we live in. Her writing, her actions, her philosophy, her courage--this is what makes Charlotte Perkins Gilman a hero.

Posted by KatieAikins at 4:55 PM | Comments (4)