Congenial (adjective): 1: suitable or appropriate: pleasant and enjoyable: very friendly
2 a: existing or associated together harmoniously
b: pleasant; especially: agreeably suited to one’s nature, tastes, or outlook (Merriam-Webster)
Found on Page 57, paragraph 14 of “The Yellow Wallpaper“–>“Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.”
I believe this word in the quote means that the narrator believed if she found work that suited with her personality and what she liked, then it would do her good. Since the narrator was forbidden from taking care of her child, doing her motherly duties, or taking care of household chores because of her mental illness, the narrator strongly felt that if she worked it would improve her mental wellness.
Demurred (intransitive verb): 1 archaic: delay, hesitate
2: to file a demurrer
3: to take exception: object—often used with to or at (Merriam-Webster)
Found on Page 53, paragraph 2 of “The Cottagette”–>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.
I believe this word in the quote means that Malda hesitated to go out with Mr. Matthews because she was mostly concerned about the home being washed by another woman. Previously, it states that Malda preferred to wash the dishes by herself, so bringing someone else to the house made her apprehensive because she did not know how this woman was going to clean her home.
Domesticity (noun): life inside a home: the activities of a family or of the people who share a home (Merriam-Webster)
Found on Page 50, paragraph 11 of “The Cottagette”–>”Don’t be foolish, child,” said Lois, “this is serious. What they care for most after all is domesticity. Of course they’ll fall in love with anything; but what they want to marry is a homemaker.”
I believe this word in the quote means that Lois was telling Malda that in order for Ford Matthews to love her or marry her, she would always have to be a woman that was fervently involved in the duties of a homemaker such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and doing anything that involved the needs of the family.
In “A Rose for Emily,” Miss Emily is the character who has power. “On the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice. February came, and there was no reply.” Miss Emily was mailed a tax notice, but she disregarded it. She was then mailed a formal letter asking her to call the sheriff’s office at her convenience, followed by a letter from the mayor. The Board of Aldermen then went to her house to convince her to pay her taxes. “I have no taxes in Jefferson,” is what she muttered repeatedly. She eventually chases them out of her house, without her having to pay her taxes. This shows that Miss Emily is powerful, for she didn’t comply with the laws of the town, and the Alderman probably feared to punish her because of her old age.
“She carried her head high enough—even when we believed that she was fallen. It was as if she demanded more than ever the recognition of her dignity as the last Grierson; as if it had wanted that touch of earthiness to reaffirm her imperviousness.” The narrator feels that Emily knows that she is a powerful woman, and that she wants to be recognized for it.
As Miss Emily asks the druggist for poison, she wasn’t hesitant. She insisted on getting arsenic. When the druggist mentioned that he must be told what she will use the poison for, due to the law, Miss Emily just stared at him. The druggist packaged the poison and when Miss Emily opened it, written on the box was “for rats.” Here, Emily is ignoring the law once again. She is a powerful woman, and people must’ve feared to challenge her authority.
In “The Story of An Hour,” the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, is informed about the railroad disaster where her husband was killed. She is immediately devastated. “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone.” After Mrs. Mallard enters her room, she sat into the arm chair facing the open window. As she observes the landscape, she felt something possessing her. She began to whisper, “free, free, free!” She came into realization that she was free, free from her husband, who probably prevented her from living her life the way she pleased. In the end, Mr. Mallard walks through the door. At the sight of her husband, Mrs. Mallard dies.
In “A Jury of Her Peers,” the protagonist Mrs. Wright, or Minnie Foster before her marriage, has murdered her husband. The cause of this I assume was because just as Mr. Mallard, Mr. Wright prevented his wife from living how she wanted to. Mrs. Hale finds Mrs. Wright’s bird with a broken neck, wrapped in silk. The bird used to sing along with Mrs. Wright, which was something she loved to do as Minnie Foster. As her husband probably despised this, he wrung the neck of the bird to prevent it from ever singing again. This was the same exact way Mr. Wright died, from his neck. Mrs. Wright probably wanted her husband to feel the pain of that what her bird felt.
I judge the two protagonists differently. Mrs. Mallard’s husband was killed in an accident, while Mrs. Wright’s husband was murdered. The settings of both stories seem to be around the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today women have more rights than they did at the time of these stories. Reading them today gives a clearer understanding of why they reacted the way they did towards their husbands.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka told a very sad story. A bread winner that transformed hideous monster. On the same day of transformation he was to told by his former manager that his work performance was poor, so Gregor knew he did not have much more to live for. As time progress he grew more and more isolated from his family and his family fear, towards him grew greater as well. A family that once dependent on Gregor couldn’t go to Gregor for help, so their debt out grew their patience. Gregor family decided to get boarders or room-mates to help pay rent; which was bad idea due to the fact that they knew they were living with a monster. This story shows the importance of family. You never know when an individual may need help your help or when your peaceful family or member within your family, may become strenuous or needy.
Goodman Brown is a story base is the line of faith; loss of Faith. Everything in the setting was seems real but the story went into a twist. Married man of three months and madly in love with his beautiful wife Faith. On the night of Browns voyage, the story takes and turn into becoming a fairy tale meaning; Brown was interacting and making evil laughs while trekking through the woods. During his journey Brown came across Christians that challenge his commitment to Faith; however Brown was strong and he trekked hard until he reach his destination. Like the author asked his readers, was it just a dream or Brown really ventured to find his faith that he left at home before the journey.
In a “Rose for Emily” the whole story reeked of decay. The house that was very old and stood out by itself, the butler aged and withered, the smell of a decaying cadaver, and finally the last of Miss Emily’s closest relatives dying off. In the paragraph in part two that states “When her father died, it got about that the house was all that was left to her;” and “being left alone, and a pauper” reminds me of sitting in a cell with no future or no hope. Yes her father turned away all her suitors, but he was all she had left in her world. Now he was gone. I say this to emphasize that it does not matter how much power you have, you can still be alone in a world full of people. Now granted she was not in a cell physically as she did venture out, but the mental aspect of “what will happen to me now” comes into play. So then comes along a prince charming who could feasibly turn her whole life around, she is given a new hope and companionship, that could take away that loneliness. In section III the paragraph talks about this stating “She carried her head high enough–even when we believed that she was fallen. It was as if she demanded more than ever the recognition of her dignity as the last Grierson.” I gather that Homer was a womanizer in that he would date a woman yet his passion was to be with the men and frolic. He also stated he was not the marrying kind. What I feel was his downfall was that he returned to her door after her relatives had left. He dipped his hand into the cookie jar once to many times. But let us talk about how she must have felt knowing when he left, she would once again be alone. Her sanity had given way to her emotions, and she decided she would never be alone anymore. Unfortunately when the story talked about the smell I could sense what was happening. Normally a dead rat or any other vermin, will smell in close contact and last only a day or two. But I already sensed they were talking about a human, way before I knew who it was. My only issue was why the butler ignored it. But it just goes to show that his job was his highest priority.
In the story of an hour and the jury of her peers, I sense these stories both describe very well what was the effect on women in early times. Mrs. Mallard obviously had never experienced freedom or individuality. As told in the story “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name.” Then with the jury of her peers as I had described before in my comments; a person who deals with death of a close one in a nonchalant insensitive expression, usually has crossed the line of having enough and accepting that murder had to be done. Obviously something like this doesn’t happen overnight, but builds over time.Mrs. Mallard was obviously very unhappy and it showed with the clutter of her home. Because a woman during those times could not publically express discontent, it must have been hard on her. The bird was just the last straw. I also pointed out the two women who saw the bird decided to hide it from the men. That bird might have explained a lot to the prosecution and justice would have been served. And I really think that’s why the women took it (the bird). Because in their views justice was served. And also in their own way the regret of not being more of a friend to Mrs. Wright. This tells me that the women supported each other in those times, because as mention before their voice was not heard by the men who treated them as less than. In the story of an hour it was told that Mrs. Mallard did not loved her husband. “And yet she loved him–sometimes. Often she had not.” My guess is that marriages in those days were basically willed on by family, wealth, not dying old by yourself. Even today it is hard to find couples who stayed married. People today think only of their freedom and individuality, and would prefer that it is not hindered. It is nice to know that at least women have voices today and carry responsibility well in society.
Powwow (Young Goodman Brown/Paragraphs (43, 52, 56)
Pronunciation: Pau – Wau
-A social gathering of Native Americans that usually includes dancing.
-A meeting for people to discuss something.
-A Native American Priest/Medicine Man.
-Paragraph 43: They tell me that some of our community are to be here from Falmouth and beyond, and others from Connecticut and Rhode Island; besides several of the Indian powwows….
-Paragraph 52: Come witch, come wizard, come Indian powwow….
-Paragraph 56: Scattered, also, among their pale-faced enemies, were the Indian priests, or powwows….
In class yesterday, we began talking about “Young Goodman Brown” but didn’t really get to “The Metamorphosis” at all. For our discussion this week, I’d like to offer the option that we try what Gavin suggested in class yesterday, that we return to previous discussions, in addition to starting the next discussion here.
To that end, please feel free to contribute something new to the discussion on “The Metamorphosis.”
Next, please contribute to our discussion here about “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
One topic for discussion is to comment on the kinds of narrators we find in these two short stories. In addition to identifying them using the terminology we have discussed on the site and in class, there is another aspect of the narrator we can think about: is the narrator of either story a reliable narrator or an unreliable narrator?
Another topic for discussion: we might use the words utopia and dystopia to describe these two short stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that we read. What do those words mean? Which story is utopian and which is dystopian? Why?
As always, you should spend 75 minutes reading the online discussion and contributing to it. Your work should be in the form of a comment either to the discussion post, or to another comment in the thread.