Monthly Archives: February 2018


Menagerie: noun:  a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition.


From “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka , page 5

“During the intervals in the main performance, when the general public pushed out towards the menagerie in order to see the animals, they could hardly avoid moving past the hunger artist and stopping there a moment.”

Menagerie is used to illustrate the scene. The hunger artist has now been moved right next to where the animals are kept.


Definition of neurasthenia – a condition that is characterized especially by physical and mental exhaustion usually with accompanying symptoms (such as headache and irritability), is of unknown cause but is often associated with depression or emotional stress, and is sometimes considered similar to or identical with chronic fatigue syndrome.

I have encountered this word while reading Charlotte Perkins Gilman “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper” (1913). This word was located on the first page second to last paragraph. “But the best result is this. Many years later I was told that the great specialist had admitted to friends of his that he had altered his treatment of neurasthenia since reading The Yellow Wallpaper.” To my understanding of the word it is a syndrome that is develop naturally, and it causes stress, depression, and even hallucinations. Which is similar to what the narrator from “The Yellow Wallpaper” has throughout the story. The narrator claim that her sickness was cause of nervous depression, which is similar to what neurasthenia is.

Image result for hallucinations

This picture show what a person with neurasthenia might be imagining of in their head.



causing shock or disgust; shining or glowing with a bright and unpleasant color

source: Merriam Webster dictionary

This word is taken from The Yellow Wallpaper on the second page last sentence.

The narrator uses this word to describe how abhorrent and undaunted  the orange color of the wallpaper is “in some places.”



great happiness; something that is pleasing and well chosen

source: Merriam dictionary

This word is taken from short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” it is found in the second paragraph of the story.

I believed the narrators use of this word was to imply the idea of gaining pure romantic happiness as it relates to staying at the mansion. But as we discover from reading this is quite contrary.




a man whose wife is unfaithful; the husband of an adulteress

source;: Merriam Webster dictionary

A came across this word while reading “A Rose for Emily” it is found in the second to last paragraph.

Based on the meaning of this would I think it was referring to Emily cheating on Homer with perhaps death.



Power dynamics in The Cottagette & The Yellow Wallpaper

One thing that stands out in both The Cottagette & The Yellow Wallpaper is the types of relationships. In the story the Cottagette, Malda and Ford have an equal partnership.  “I was still too happy to think very clearly. I just sat and looked at
him. “But you want to marry me?” I said. “I want to marry you, Malda,–because I love you–because you are young and strong and beautiful–because you are wild and sweet and–fragrant, and–elusive, like the wild flowers you love. Because you are so truly
an artist in your special way, seeing beauty and giving it to others. I
love you because of all this, because you are rational and highminded
and capable of friendship,–and in spite of your cooking!””. Ford wanted to marry Malda because of who she was and what she loved to do. when he purposed he asked her not to cook because he realized it made her unhappy. She was shocked, Lois her friend told her if she wanted to keep a husband she needed to know how to keep a house which meant cooking and cleaning. Its wasn’t true in this chase.

In the story The Yellow Wall-Paper there is a controlling relationship. The husband, John is in control of his wife.  ““Better in body perhaps”—I began, and stopped short, for he sat up straight and looked at me with such a stern, reproachful look that I could not say another word.
“My darling,” said he, “I beg of you, for my sake and for our child’s sake, as well as for your own, that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy. Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?”
So of course I said no more on that score, and we went to sleep before long. He thought I was asleep first, but I wasn’t,—I lay there for hours trying to decide whether that front pattern and the back pattern really did move together or separately. ” She can’t state what’s on her mind if her husband disagrees with what she’s saying. He tells her what to do and when to do it. she listens because she believes he’s this way because he loves her.

Utopia and Dystopia relating to The Yellow Wallpaper and The Cottagette.

The words Utopia and Dystopia are opposites of each other. Utopia relates to a world that is considered to be perfect or ideal while Dystopia refers to a place where the conditions of life are unpleasant. In Gilman short stories the yellow wallpaper and the cottagette we can see where each of these term applies to the protagonist in different ways. In the story yellow wallpaper the narrator introduces us to the mansion in which she is staying for the summer in hopes of recovering from her illness of depression. At first it seems she is perhaps content with the height of romantic felicity” she may experience while at the mansion, she even describes it as” the most beautiful place.” From this  we can relate the idea of utopia as the narrator (perhaps Jane ) expresses the physical appearance of the house and the room in which she stays to that of perfection but it is a facade because as we delve further into the story it is reveal that she is not happy  as she expresses that she would hate it if she had to live in the room long” Now comes the idea of dystopia where the unpleasantness of the room’s yellow wall paper drives her –to say the most– insane. The narrator’s illness deteriorated from a place of utopia to craziness–from the point of view of her husband and his sister’s and perhaps even to the narrator herself, it can be said that she fell into a state of dystopia.

In contrast, the cottagette starts off with description of the cottage, at first I thought it would more relate to the idea of dystopia but as I read on I realized it was more of a utopia for Malda as she expressed how delighted she is with the cottage. Furthermore not only is the appearance of the cottage utopic to Malda but also perhaps the happiness she succumb to in the end. As indicated in the stoty, Malda declares her love for Ford Matthews and is faced with the challenge of proving herself to be a good wife to win his love. She is advised by her friend Lois to make a home, in hearing this she installs a kitchen in hopes of impressing Ford Matthews with her cooking, though Malda is skeptical about this idea as she states “the very beauty of the place is that it never had any house-keeping about it.” Despite Maldas efforts to “make a home” it is revealed that Ford is in fact in love with Malda and all her trouble of impressing him was unnecessary because he in the end confesses his love and wants to marry her regardless of her cooking and domesticity. He loves her because she is young strong and beautiful he even compares her to being sweet and wild like the wild flowers she loves. This, to me is the true idea of utopia to be accepted for who you are and be loved for it without having to prove to be someone you are not. One may consider this a utopia of love for both Malda and Matthews.



“The Yellow Wallpaper” As A Horror Story?!

  • According to one examination of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and its publication history, the story did remain in print in between its reprint in 1920 and its feminist re-discovery in the 1970s: in horror-story collections. In what ways do you see “The Yellow Wall-Paper” as a horror story? Include specific references to the text to support your claims.

“I really have discovered something at last. Through watching so much at night, when it changes so, I have finally found out. The front pattern DOES move–and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women, behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over” (Gilman, pg. 9-10).

Now, this quote, visually, is very creepy. Taking place the time in the story, night, and what is going on like seeing numerous women then only one behind a wallpaper that is moving is skin crawling. Speaking of crawling, the women behind the wallpaper crawls, she doesn’t walk. Thinking of this reminds me of the movie “The Ring”, for those who may not have a clue of what I am talking about here’s a visual.

Image result for the ring

“Then in the very bright spots she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard. And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern–it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads” (Gilman, pg. 10).

Image result for three headed woman

This also adds to the visually disturbing view because not only does the women trapped in the wallpaper crawl but also has many heads. Now, it is unclear if the narrator is referring to the amount of head as the numerous women behind the bars or how many heads that one women behind the bars has. But, this leaves the reader to be open to imagination and depending on where that imagination leads the reader can be classified as horrifying or normal. But when I try to see how this story is viewed as a horror story then a women with many heads crawling is what comes to mind. That’s the way I see this story as a horror story.

At first reading, I did not perceive this to be creepy at all, just very creative writing, somewhat like poetry. But, being that when this story was rediscovered, 1970’s, the first thought that came to my mind about why it would be classified as a horror story is that not only is this story creative in a way that isn’t regularly thought of but, it would probably be looked at as if the narrator has a mental problem that, at the time, could not be explained very well or medically treated properly and is taking the reader into the mind of someone who is ‘not normal’. So when people do not fully understand where something is coming from or just simply don’t understand they tend to label it and shy away from it. That’s the first thought that came to mind when I thought of why it can be seen as a horror story.

The Cottagette by Charloette Perkins Gilman

In “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, I believe the story offers a truly happy ending. Malda had talent but she thought she needed to please the guy she loves. She was told from Lois, that men love to marry a homemaker. Lois got her happy ending. She was miserable in her marriage. She didn’t regret the pain and once she changed back to her maiden name she felt free and truly happy. Malda was going to give up her needlework to be a housewife. Her soon to be fiance has noticed that she has been cooking recently. When he asked Malda to marry her, she said yes and he told her that there’s one condition and it’s that she shouldn’t cook. He told her that he doesn’t want her to give up what she truly loves and has talent for instead of cooking for him.  When Ford says “Your work is quite too good to lose; it is a beautiful and distinctive art, and I don’t want you to let it go.” I believe it’s a happy ending for them because he truly loves her for who she is and he doesn’t want her to force herself to cook just because it’s a gender role. Being in love with someone means you support them and motivate them to follow their passion. He can cook and he is willing to cook for them so she can do what she loves and I believe that’s true love. You being able to support your partner in any way is true love. Ford is okay with him cooking for the both of them and making that sacrifice for the girl he loves and I believe that’s a true happy ending.