Author Archives: Kainat Ali

Once Upon A Time

What a wonderful place Omelas would be to live in, right? Positivity all around. Every corner you turn into all you see is people enjoying their lives. Not a worry in the world, just pure happiness. But is this happiness really pure? Did the people of Omelas really find the secret to eternal happiness or is it some sort of facade?

The people of Omelas lived each day as if it were their last. There seemed to be no government here. Everyone did as they pleased. “Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive.” (Guin, page 2.) They were not naive, but rather mature. The happiness that surrounded everyone’s life here was an understood happiness. “The victory they celebrate is that of life.” (Guin, page 3)  What better a reason to be happy than enjoying another day, a new day full of new adventures. These people lived without regrets.

How can it be that every single person in this city was happy? The reason behind their happiness was all because of this one child who has been locked away in a room. “It has one locked door, and no window.” (Guin, page 4.) This child was locked away as if it was a animal. People come to see the child. “One of them may come in and kick the child to make it stand up. The others never come close, but peer in at it with frightened, disgusted eyes.” (Guin, page 5.) It was as if the locking away of this child was the only way for them to happy. Was this child looked upon as bad luck? If he/she was let out to roam as the other people did, would all of these people really become miserable? “If the child were brought up into the sunlight out of that vile place, if it were cleaned and fed and comforted, that would be a good thing indeed; but if it were done, in that day and hour all the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed.” ( Guin, page 5.)

Although, it was said that the people of Omelas had no guilt earlier on in this story, “one thing I know there is none of in Omelas is guilt.” (Guin, page 3.) this was not true at all. For the sake of their own happiness, because of their own little story made up in their head about this child they allowed that child to stay locked up. “To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single, small improvement.” (Guin, page 6.) This “small improvement” was keeping that child locked away. This was the one thing they were okay about feeling guilty over.

Surely, not everyone could sleep in peace without worrying for or having an effect because of this child. Every now and then people would walk out of the city. “At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all.” (Guin, page 7.) What is unclear is what did these select few realize for them to just walk out? Was it the shame that finally hit? Was it realization that everyone around them believed in superstitions? Or did they realize that things weren’t really all that perfect in Omelas the way they were raised to believe?

You Are Me And I Am You

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” portrays mental illness in the most purest form possible. The narrator of the story is the one suffering from this illness. We as the reader get to live through how she felt, what she thought and how everyone else reacted to her.

Although her illness was continuously brought up throughout the story, so was the wallpaper. Not by others, it was the narrator herself obsessing over the wallpaper. From the moment she steps into the house she says that “there is something strange about the house.” (page 1, paragraph 20) She then roams around the house and sees the wallpaper which she says that she “never saw a worse paper in my life.” (page 2, paragraph 6) This is where the story takes off.

At this point she begins to analyze the wallpaper. She criticizes the patterns and the odd color of the wallpaper. With each passing day she becomes more and more obsessed with the wallpaper. She begins to see eyes staring at her. She continues by saying “I never saw so much expression in an inanimate thing before.” (page 3, paragraph 12) The “eyes” she sees start to become more visible to her as she continues to focus on the wallpaper. She also notices that in different lighting you can see certain patterns more clearly. Where the sun gets the wallpaper just right she sees “a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure.” (page 4, first paragraph)

Now that she has seen this “figure” her obsession grows much more. Even though it creeps her out it has her attention. She begins to see the paper move. Eventually she comes to the conclusion that there is a woman behind the wallpaper that shakes it. This woman also escapes the wallpaper in the daytime. Every window she looks out of she sees this woman. No matter how fast she looks elsewhere this woman is standing creeping on her.

On the last day, she tries and helps this woman get out of the wallpaper. Oddly enough, after she decides to catch the woman with a rope she says “I wonder if they all come out of that wall-paper as I did?”(page 9, paragraph 14) Why does she now refer to herself as coming out of the wallpaper when she never was in it? At this point in the story, she is alone. No one is there to check on her or stop her from doing anything. She says “it is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please.” (page 9, paragraph 17)

Despite the continuous thoughts on the wallpaper, I’m assuming the wallpaper is her illness. The woman she sees behind the patterns is herself. The bars in the wallpaper symbolizes how she feels, trapped. She has a “loving and caring” husband who denies that it is anything more than a nervous condition. He is continuously stopping her from doing anything that she enjoys. She treats her as a child as well as calls her one. The more she examined the wallpaper the more she understood things in her own life. She was being held back from doing so many things just because her husband the physician said so.

In the end she says, “I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back.” (page 9, paragraph 30) She hasn’t gotten the woman out of the wallpaper out yet. Was she referring to herself this entire time? Her saying that she has gotten out at last was her admitting that she was trapped. Her husband and his sister and most likely everyone else around her made her feel trapped. No one acknowledged her thoughts or what she had to say as if she truly was a child. This is why she hid her writing from them and ultimately understood herself. She was depressed because of how she was being treated by others. The woman behind the wallpaper was her all along, she just needed to figure out who it really was. She needed to accept that the bars holding the woman in the wallpaper back from getting out was her life and maybe her husband too.

The Index To How To Act For Dummies

In the story “Girl,” from start to finish it is just stating how to do something. There are no specifics, no actual instructions on how to do what she is being told. You can clearly see that this person, assuming it may be her mother, is concerned for her well-being. The repetitive use of the word “slut” is concerning though because that is not how you speak to someone. Assuming that it is her daughter that is being spoken to, most people would refrain from using language like that. Though this person may be coming off as extremely harsh there is truth in what is being said. 

In many aspects I can relate to this story since I was taught similar things growing up. Maybe it is a cultural thing or maybe not I’m not exactly sure. Depending on your surroundings and how people around you were brought up you pick up a few things or it gets added on to your “cultural teachings.” I have always been told to watch how I act around men, not because I’m so bent on becoming a “slut” but because it’s just a part of being a “lady.” I was taught how to cook, clean, sit and properly speak amongst other things just because women have always been taught these things in my culture. Women have always been told how to carry themselves. It is just a tradition that continues amongst the generations. 

Even though reading the word “slut” may have caught me by surprise but this is the reality of the world. It is so easy to label a female as a slut for something as simple as the way she walks. How to act comes with age and experiences, she won’t go straight to being the way she was taught to be. People have always and will always learn from making mistakes, it is human nature. Yes, this woman is being protective over who I assume is her daughter she has probably gone through something for her to say these things. But perhaps like the mother, the daughter will learn from experience. No one is perfect. 

The mother is not wrong for wanting to teach her daughter all of these things. Discipline and manners are needed in everyones life. But this is where everyone has always continued to go wrong, the women should not be the only ones told and taught how to act. As they say, common sense is not so common after all right? Men can walk around doing as they please to this day but women must be angels. Women are portrayed as humans that never make mistakes and God forbid if they do they are so harshly penalized for it. I may sound like such a feminist right now but, if there is a whole manual being taught to girls there should be one for men as well. It is a two way street. If you can’t clap with one hand then you also should not hold one person accountable for a mistake, whatever that mistake may be.

In conclusion, this story definitely is still relatable in this day and age. Women are still expected to be a certain way. To be labeled as a slut you really don’t need to do anything, all you need to do is not follow the “norms.” Its not fair at all, but it is what it is. 

Do Not Read

Oh, you’re still here? I guess that means you want to know more. Let’s begin now, shall we? My name is Kainat Ali and I am 22 years old. This is my first time using OpenLab but not blogging. This is my first semester at City Tech, I am currently a Liberal Arts major. Boring right? I plan on transferring to Brooklyn College though to continue my education and hopefully become a psychologist one day if my brain doesn’t end up frying in the process.

I enjoy traveling, I hope to visit as many countries as I can before my body gives up on me. I like experiencing new things and seeing new places. Getting out of my comfort zone can only benefit me. Just like how I have told you all on the first day of class that I fainted on a roller coaster before. I am so scared of heights but this summer I went zip-lining and it was awesome! Slowly but surely, I plan on getting over most if not all of my fears and achieving some goals I have for myself.

 I don’t get enough time to read anymore unfortunately but I do love reading. I can read any genre, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll enjoy it. I do challenge myself by reading different kinds of genres on different subjects. As for writing, I used to keep a diary. Typical girl stuff according to others but, it helped me keep my thoughts together. It used to keep me sane, not that I’m insane now. I would turn to my diary because I don’t feel comfortable turning to people anymore. 

My sense of literature/fiction is it’s a way to express yourself as well as educate others. Literature doesn’t always consist of made up stories, it can teach you a lesson or educate you on real world incidents. I feel like this course is going to get me back into reading. It doesn’t have much to do with my major, it’s just going to prepare me for the amount of reading I will have to do. I hope to learn as much as I can not only from this course but from my peers as well.

Looking forward to the rest of this semester !