Tag Archives: Discussion

Setting of The Cottagette and The Yellow Wallpaper

The Cottagette is in a serene environment, high in the mountaintops in a remote beautiful landscape. It is in a resort where all the needs of the visitors are looked after, and where everyone is supposed to be happy and enjoy life.  This is the perfect setting for a story about falling in love. Before Ford “pops the question”, the setting described is a perfectly romantic one, “”stopped by a spring… saw the round sun setting at one end of a world view, and the round moon rising at the other..”. This fits the story’s theme perfectly.

The Yellow Wallpaper is set in an almost haunted house. The house itself is nice enough. It has a nice big garden and plenty of rooms, but after being left uninhabited for so long has a spooky air about it. Then the room is mentioned. First noting the bars on the windows, then the wallpaper,she describes the nursery, specifically the wallpaper, “Stripped off in great patches…commited every artistic sin…color is repellent, almost revolting…no wonder the children hated it..” you can really get a feel of how the narrator feels about it. The narrator is then confined to the room with minimal interaction between her and anyone else. for someone with post-postpartum depression or someone with a predisposition to mental illness, this is the absolute best setting to have someone go crazy.

“The Metamorphosis”

While reading “The Metamophosis,” I was aware that the narrator had implied that Gregor Samsa was awake at the beginning of the story.   However, as the story progressed and he remained a disgusting vermin I thought it was one of those dreams where Samsa was only dreaming that he had awaken.

The situation presented by Franz Kafka in the story is indeed disgusting.   It is also quite disturbing and very unrealistic. Regarding the story metaphorically does make it more easily tolerated.   I thought the vermin state which took away all the human qualities and functions of Samsa that both himself and his family loved, and left him helpless and trapped was a symbol of issues Samsa was facing in real life.

As I  read the story I realized Samsa was under  a great deal of stress and anxiety because his mom, dad and sister depended on him solely financially.   He apparently hated his job, but could not quit.  However he was hopeful when he stated on page 14, “Well, there is still hope; once I’ve got the money together to pay off my parents debt to him – another five or six years…….then I will make the big change.”  Its as if he gained this vermin state where he is of no use to his family to see what their response would be like if he quit his job and was no longer able to provide for them.

I believe “The Metamorphosis,” is also an allegory, but in a different way than “Young Goodman Brown.”  The vermin state could be interpreted to have some moral meaning.   Before his transformation  Samsa appeared to be somewhat okay with the arrangement to take care of his family.   However, at such a young age he was also tired of this huge responsibility and financial obligation.  He felt trapped.   I think before he transformed  he was subconsciously thinking about what it would be like to be free of all the responsibilities he had.  He apparently needed to see how he would be treated if he could no longer bear the burden of the family.  The treatment he received in his vermin state has some moral meaning.   The family including his dear sister seem to turn on him rather quickly but when he earned money every one loved him and were comfortable and happy with him.  He was once their pride and joy but now with this transformation he was now a hideous creature that repulsed and shamed them.

As I read the story I could picture Samsa as a vermin.   I felt repulsed but at the same time I felt sorry for him.  I could easily visualize him waking up and discovering his new body and trying to figure out how it worked.  The story reminded me of a Science Fiction movie.  The use of the word kafkaesque indicates the nightmarish qualities of the story.   Because of these qualities I kept reading the story anticipating that Samsa was about to wake up, but he never did.

“Young Goodman Brown”

In the story “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne the type of narration used includes third person omniscient.   With this type of narration the narrator gives the reader information from anywhere in the story.  Therefore, the narrator is able to give information even when the setting changes.   The narrative style is also third person limited because the narrator is only able to give information about what is in the mind of the point-of -view character, Goodman Brown.  The narrator does not have access to the thoughts of other characters.  The narrator does have access to the feelings of some of the flat characters.  This is noted on page 8 where the narrator stated, “… and fair young girls who trembled lest their mothers espy them.”

The narrator begins to tell the story from the setting of Young Goodman Brown’s home as he is about to leave home on his mysterious journey.  The setting changes as Goodman Brown continues on his journey through Salem Village and into the woods.  On page two Hawthorne wrote,  “He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest.”   The narration continues even when Goodman Brown leaves the setting of his fellow traveler and hides in the bushes.  While he is hidden the narrator gives narration from Goodman Brown’s hiding place  and also from the Goodman Brown’s companion and Goody Cloyse.

The wording of the story indicates this is truly third person as the narrator does not take part in the story.  For example, Hawthorne wrote,  “Friend, said he…” on page 5.  On page 1, “Poor little faith thought he.”  Also on page 7, “My Faith is gone!, cried he.”

Third person limited narration continues when the narrator gives an insight into the thoughts and feelings of Young Goodman Brown. This on page 5 when Goodman Brown had apparently changed his mind about continuing his unchristian like journey.   “The young man sat a few moments by the road-side, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister on his morning walk, nor shrink from the eye of Deacon Gookin.”

The narrator has not given readers an understanding of why Goodman Brown decides to go an this journey that he knew was   against his christian values.  He came to his senses and does restrain himself for a moment from going further, but when he saw the pink ribbons belonging to his wife her presence there propelled him onward.   Goodman brown is rather naive because along the journey he hid himself from the sight of Goody Cloyse, his pastor and the deacon.  All of whom he had no doubt were good christian.   His companion laughed at him on page 3 when he said, “…how should I meet the eye of that good old man, our minister, at Salem Village?  Oh his voice would make me tremble, both Sabbath-day and lecture-day.”   His companion laughed because he knew these people were all hypocrites who professed Christianity but who were also devil worshipers.  He also knew all these  people  would be in attendance when they reached their destination.   Goodman Brown at this point was in for a surprise.


A Response to David Streitfeld’s blog

In response to Streitfild’s blog, I must say that I completely agree with his actions and statements. In the story A Rose for Emily we see a woman by the name of Emily Grierson that was raised by her father’s views and teachings which she harshly displayed with great pride in her later years. Even though these lessons caused dramatic set backs in her love life, she refused to change. The story took place in the late 1800’s; a time when freedom was not widely known by the African ethnicity. This now brings up a controversial topic that is still troblesome until this day. The word nigger and it’s use in this text. The word nigger today is deeply frowned upon by countless people in many ways and for diverse reasons. In David Streitfeld’s blog he discussed the use of the word rigger in replacement for the word nigger. Rigger is used to define a person or a company that is highly experienced with lifting or arranging large or very heavy objects. The use of this word makes sense because it basically describes the job description, for the most part, of the African ethnicity of that time in history. The reason it can not be used is simply because it banishes the history of the word all together. This now brings up some interesting thoughts; how do we shield future generations from the use of such a word or should they be shielded at all. Looking at society today we can clearly see how this word is rooted deeply in the entertainment world of music, movies and games to the education of students learning about American History. The thought of shielding this word resembles someone running away from their shadow; you simply can not get away. In my view, changing the word nigger in this text may only create questions and curiousity about the word which defeats the purpose of the intial change. In today’s society the only thing more affective than changing the word nigger to rigger is purely, maturity. This may be more easily said than done, especially towards a younger generation of readers. This is where the maturity of our society, as a whole, has to play it’s roll. This is done by setting an example for future generations which includes unity and understanding for one another that is not only spoken but practiced world wide by each individual.