Yellow Wallpaper Essay, Research Paper
When trapped or confined, there are several crucial steps toward freedom. The most important of these steps is the ability to see the walls that are holding you, or for that matter keeping you out. Through the comparison of three very different stories, there is one evident similarity. The common struggle and idea of each story is the ability to overcome what obstacles lie between the main character and her goals. In the stories The Awakening, The Yellow Wallpaper, and I Stand Here Ironing, each main character is in need of freedom. What separates the stories outcomes is how each character handles the situations that are dealt to them.
A very young woman in the novel The Awakening was married to a Southern man, very set in his southern ways. Upon this union of souls between Mr. Pontilier and Edna, she lost her previous last name, but more importantly the identity she had spent her entire life working to find. With the loss of everything that she knew to be real, she had been pushed out into the wilderness with nothing but her instincts to defend her from predators. From that point forward she was forced to be a child bearing, proper Mrs. Pontillier that everyone expected her to be. She soon found the daily life of a southern woman much to monotonous. Unable to break free from the constraints that society had placed upon her, she began searching for an escape, a way to free herself, in order to satisfy the curiosity that she had obtained after being secluded from the world she had known for so long. As she slowly began to change over a period of time, she was able to find bits of herself. In placing her life back to together the way she needed, she developed deep relations with Robert. Robert satisfied the lack of compassion that she had been experiencing since she moved in with her husband. For once in a long while, she did not feel subservient. He was everything that she wanted, and one of the only things that she could not have. By continuing contact, they both realized their true desires, and saw the life styles that they were unable to break. Because of Edna s expansion of experiences through Robert, she was never again able to morph back into the woman that she was when she first was placed into marriage. When Edna realized the only thing that she truly wanted she could not have without dire consequences from the world around her, she began searching for an answer. Society had begun to surround and smother her. Searching for an escape, she looked toward the unknown. She needed a place of no return, a place in which she may be set free forever. After several attempts at distancing herself from her husband and trying to find release in art and several other activities, she realized her quest was hopeless. Experimentation into previously unknown areas gave her the ability to swim. While in the water she felt a freedom that she had never before experienced. Her demise and freedom came from the very waters that gave her that sense of power. With an inability to change, what she felt would no longer work for her life; she forced herself to accept the only escape she knew to be permanent and true, death.
Change again forces pressure onto the Narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper. Much like The Awakening, in both stories walls were placed around the main characters and after acceptance into an unchanging world, each character realizes they can only change those walls that confine. Placed in an unfamiliar place, the wife of a prominent doctor was unable to understand the world that had left her so quickly. Nevertheless, despite the lies that her husband had been telling her and the actions of the people that worked in the asylum she had been placed into, she was able to see that there was no escape. The bars that incased her room were too strong for her to break. After months of confinement in a single room, she began to understand areas that the caretakers were unable to see. The Yellow Wallpaper that surrounded her from every angle began to hold her tighter than any constraint possibly placed upon her by human means. The struggle moved from the one between the seen to the unseen. With a predestined fate of solitude and confinement in the yellow room, she knew that she was only able to change her place of confinement and not truly leave. In tearing down that yellow wallpaper that held her so tightly, she was able to break free from the prison into which she had been placed. Never again would she allow herself to be placed in the room that controlled her so powerfully.
Through the story I Stand Here Ironing, talent is crushed and discarded by societies stereotypical views, which have great powers. In the portrayal of a family s struggle to progress and succeed, the family continues to fall back into mediocrity because of its very existence. Let her be. So, all that is in her will not bloom but in how many it dies? There is still enough left to live by. And help her know-that is more than this dress on the ironing board-helpless before the iron. For the chains that hold us down are unable to be seen and are self-inflicted.
Each story in its own way describes a struggle for freedom and an escape from the present into what could be the future. Each way of dealing with obstacles produces a different outcome. In each story, a freedom was taken away and torn from the characters lives. Without the replaced part, the characters can no longer function as machines in society. They all begin to act slightly out of the norm. Because the missing link must be replaced, there are few options for the characters. That link to freedom can only be replaced if it can be seen missing. Only if the desire to move forward is present, is a person able to preserver over any obstacles. Because of the numerous different views one can take, and several critical interactions between a problem and the person dealing with the problem it is unimaginable the effect that small actions can have over the scheme of an entire story.