Monthly Archives: February 2018

Blog Post for The Cottagette & The Yellow Wallpaper

Most stories that we have read have always made the best out of an unfortunate situation it is known that stories usually have a happy ending although some struggles. In the story “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I feel like there was a happy ending because Malda and Ford truly had feelings for it and at the end Ford really only wanted the best for Malda. He knew that she had a passion and he wanted her to pursue it. 

“But you haven’t done half as much of your lovely work since you started this kitchen business, and–you’ll forgive me, dear–it hasn’t been as good. 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.” Ford saw Malda’s potential and wanted to her to keep growing even if that meant that he had to sacrifice being taken care of. “Could I? Could I? Was there ever a man like this?” This was the closing of the short story and it shows that Malda was in disbelief that there was actually a man like this would put her before himself. Also that she can have her love but also keep her passion which was the perfect ending for her character.  

Malda always thought that she had to cater to the man and everything she did had to be for him because that was the typical role for men and women in relationships back then.  She was shocked when Ford said that he would take over the cooking and actually payed attention to how her art suffered from her having to cook and clean. Although Malda was confused at first she realized that that was what she truly wanted. he didn’t have to  give anything up or choose between anything. I think this short story offers a truly happy ending.



Demur [verb] :Raise objections or show reluctance.

  • Source:


  • “One day he came around early and asked me to go up Hugh’s Peak with him.
    It was a lovely climb and took all day. I demurred a little, it was
    Monday, Mrs. Fowler thought it was cheaper to have a woman come and
    wash, and we did, but it certainly made more work.”

Ford asked Malda to go Hugh’s Peak and she objected to it because she did not want to create more work to do in the house.


Furtive [adjective] : attempting to avoid notice or attention, typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble; secretive.

  • Source:


  • ” I was delighted with it. More than delighted. Here this tiny shell of
    fresh unpainted wood peeped out from under the trees, the only house in
    sight except the distant white specks on far off farms, and the little
    wandering village in the river-threaded valley. It sat right on the
    turf,–no road, no path even, and the dark woods shadowed the back

    “How about meals?” asked Lois.

    “Not two minutes walk,” he assured her, and showed us a little furtive
    path between the trees to the place where meals were furnished. “

To express to the reader that the path that lead to the cabin where they would get their meals, was so small and covered by plants, you could barely notice it.

Discussing Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s writing

In class today, we began our discussion of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and “The Cottagette,” both by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I also gave everyone a copy of “Why I Wrote the The Yellow Wallpaper” so we can consider how Gilman describes her rationale.

If you need to remind yourself of what blogging for homework entails, what your responsibilities are, or when posts and comments are due, re-read this semester’s blogging assignment.

If you want to know more about what I’ve asked you to think about, read all previous homework assignment posts, or your classmates’ homework posts.

Here are some thoughts to get our conversations started:

  • I had asked last time about the idea of an unreliable narrator, a narrator that the reader cannot trust to be truthful or fully depicting the story. Using quotations from the Gilman texts to support your argument, compare Malda and our unnamed narrator (or is she Jane?).
  • We can argue that some of the stories we’ve read offer endings that make the best of bad situations. Do you think “The Cottagette” offers a truly happy ending? What about “The Yellow Wall-Paper”?
  • In Susan Sniader Lanser’s groundbreaking study, Fictions of Authority: Women Writers and Narrative Voice, Lanser argues that social pressures not only constrained the content of the narrative but the narration style itself. Early in her book, Lanser includes a letter that showcases one writer’s solution to the limitations she found in writing negatively about her marriage. When I read this letter and Lanser’s analysis of it, I wonder what techniques Charlotte Perkins Gilman employed to convey a positive message about the narrator’s feelings about her husband while also conveying something much different to a more tuned-in reader. Read the letter on pages 9-11 of Fictions of Authority and write a post that reflects on the ways in which we might understand information without it being directly narrated, particularly in “The Yellow Wall-Paper.”
  • We didn’t have a chance to discuss yet the words utopia and dystopia as they can be used to describe the two short stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that we read. What do those words mean? Which story is utopian and which is dystopian? Why?
  • “The Yellow Wall-Paper” was once believed to have been out of print from 1920 until feminist scholars re-discovered it in the 1970s. Here are two possible topics to consider based on this statement:
    • How do you read “The Yellow Wall-Paper” or “The Cottagette” as a feminist text? What does that mean?
    • 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.
  • What connections do you see among the stories assigned from the start of the semester and either or both of Gilman’s stories? Are there trends you can identify? Or contrasting situations/characters/styles that are worth noting in their difference? Be specific!


“The Yellow Wall-Paper” and more

"Either the Wallpaper Goes or I Do" 3-panel comic strip

Think about narrator reliability, about who the reader is (implied reader, ideal reader, narrate) (read about these terms in a comment on this post)

Power dynamics:

“Cottagette”: man and woman, where he isn’t in control of her, wants her to be who she is rather than expecting something from her; This is the case for Malda and Ford, but not for everyone

Striking sense of equality that Ford brings into the story

“The Yellow Wall-Paper”: man in control of the woman

John treats her as…through his actions he laughs at her, tells her she isn’t sick, how he regulates her treatment based on not believing she’s sick.

Narrator writing to rebel; to keep sane


Time that they’re living in: turn of the 20th century, late 1800s: context


who is the woman in the wallpaper? what is the relationship between the woman and the narrator


john always controls her



YW-P harder to understand: patterns,


  • Breadths (noun): distance from side to side : width
    • Source:
    • Taken from The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
      • “I know a little of the principle of design, and I know this thing was arranged on any laws of radiation, or alternation, or repetition, or symmetry, or anything else that I’ve heard of. It is repeated, of course, by the breadths, but not otherwise.”
    • The wallpaper that torments the narrator is the focal point of the story. In her writing she constantly describes what she sees in the wallpaper. The wallpaper per se is a colorful canvas left for her tormenting imagination. By describing these repetitive pattern by the breadths, the reader is able to paint the picture of what she sees.


  • Imperviousness (noun): not capable of being affected or disturbed
    • Source:
    • Taken from: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
      • “It was as if she demanded more than ever that recognition of her dignity as the last Grierson; as if it had wanted that touch of earthiness to reaffirm her imperviousness.”
    • Although Emily has no money to her name, she continues to hold her head high and effortlessly demands the respect she believes to deserve. The author’s use of the word imperviousness is to stress Emily’s foothold in the town and her indifference towards what others think of her.


Chintz (noun) – a usually glazed printed cotton fabric


“I wanted one downstairs that opened on the piazza and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hangings! but John would not hear of it.” (Gilman, pg. 2)

I understand that the word chintz is used to identify that a curtain, that is made out of cotton, and that it has designs on it. It was in one of the rooms that she liked that John did not approve of because there wasn’t enough room to his liking.

Image result for chintz curtains


Vindicated (verb) – to free from allegation or blame


From “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

I came across this word while reading “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. It appears in the reading when the author is describing Emily’s relationship life and her current circumstances, it caught my interest because I’ve heard the word before but I didn’t really know what it meant so it made me curious to find out what the writer was trying to illustrate in the story and to better understand the text.

“so when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased exactly, but vindicated; even with insanity in the family she wouldn’t have turned down all of her chances if they had really materialized.”

After reading the definition of the word I better understand the context of how the author was using it in that part of the text. As seen in the quote, they are describing being clear of blame.



Adjective- obvious to the eye or mind or attracting attention

This word was found in The Yellow Wallpaper on the second line of page 5. “But in the places where it isn’t faded and where the sun is just so- I can see a strange,provoking formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design.”

The word really does fit into the quote well and reading it back knowing the definition helps to make the part of the story clear. The wallpaper was so obnoxious to her and she couldn’t help not to look and give it her attention.