Hills Like White Elephants, Yellow Wallpaper, A Doll’s House Essay, Research Paper
True love is the love that everyone fantasizes about. It is the love that is unconditional and everlasting. Love is very hard to define since everybody s concept of love is different. However, in order to achieve a good relationship, people must have a well balanced power structure in their relationship, and good understanding and communication between them. In the stories, The Yellow Wallpaper, Hills Like White Elephants, and A Doll s House, one could see the lopsided relationship between the males and females. In these stories the males predominates the females, and the characters seem to lack understanding, and communication toward another, which causes problems in their relationships.
The communication going on between the man and girl in the story, Hills Like White Elephants, are not an honest one. The man seems to lead the conversation where as the girl is quiet. He brings up the subject of operation which suggested abortion, but never mentions the word abortion in the story to understate it. He tries to convince the girl to get the operation, but the girl seems bothered by this subject. However, he does not stop. Their relationship seems to be fine when the baby has not came in between them. We could see this where the guy says, We ll be fine afterward. Just like we were before. The girl wants the relationship to become as before, but is in a huge dilemma whether to give birth to the baby or not. The man does not want the baby and has the choice of abortion in mind, not thinking of the other problems that would occur through operation such as the girl s health. Later on, the girl makes a melancholy remark that the hills look like white elephants. Probably the hills being a round shape reminded her of the baby. She walks toward the end of the station, and sees the beautiful nature. When she looks more toward the nature, one could see her small desire wanting the baby and thinks what may have been happened if she had the baby. The guy does not pay attention to that remark, because he is just concerned about making his point that he wants the operation done, not considering her side.
The American guy does not come straight forward and does not mention the word abortion trying to manipulate her. We could see the man having the power over the girl when she says that she really does not care about herself, if it makes him happy but, it does matter to her because we see her concerns. She is just trying to do what he wants to do, to please him, even though she does not like it. He says that, It s really an awfully simple operation not really an operation at all. He does not know the feelings and pressure that the girl is under, and not being the person who has to have the operation, he could say that easily. However, if he really cared about her, he should listen to her inner thoughts. There should be a more serious and honest conversation between these people. The girl should not compromise if it bothers her, and she should clearly state what she thinks. What the girl wants is not the sweet words such as, I love you now, or I care about you, but real action where he shows his caring and loving by truly understanding her.
We also see a misunderstanding and unbalanced relationship in the story The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this case, the main characters are husband and wife. The wife has a temporary nervous depression and is repressed by her whole surroundings. First of all the room she has to stay is very confined having bars, and has little funiture and ugly wallpaper. She is left in the room by herself during the day, while her husband is at work. Her husband and her brother are physicians who are highly educated, and whatever they say seem right. The housekeeper also, who is her sister-in-law is a perfect housekeeper which gives comparison with the wife who is not. The wife wants to write, but she is expected to be a wife and a mother, and John does not like her writing, so she hides her writing. This story has a setting of 19th century where women were only expected to do housework so writing for women were unacceptable, since that would bother women from concentrating on housework. John oppresses his wife too much by making her stay in the old room with stained wallpaper, not letting her write, and not letting her go out so much. John does not have much conversation with her and leaves her all day by herself. John is away all day, and even some night when his cases are serious. I personally think that his serious case should be his wife, so he should not leave her alone making her lonely, and give more care to her. Having to stay home all day long, the wife sets her attention to the yellow wallpaper which represents her oppression and her self expression. The wife sees herself as the women behind the patterns on the wallpaper. She sees herself behind the patterns creeping around and the pattern seems to represent the oppression from John and his sister. The power structure is lopsided where John rules and his wife follows. At the end the wife finally tears down the wallpaper, showing her insanity. She stands up to her husband and says I ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. Insanity was her only way of getting freedom because that way she could be herself, which was different from the majority.
John tells her what to do and what not to do treating her as a patient. Thinking of her as a wife, he should listen to her more, and try to understand her feelings and desires. Even when she tries to talk about her desire to get out of the house he does not listen to her and convinces her in his way. John forces only his ideas thinking that he is the one always right. I am a doctor, dear, and I know. If the husband truly loved his wife, he should have stayed with her and should have shared her feelings.
The Doll s house, by Henrik Ibsen, also shows the married relationship where the male is in total power. This story takes place in the early 19th Century where women were basically not allowed to own property, and were expected to be good housewives. Torvald is the egocentric husband who wishes everything to be done in his way. He certainly is hardworking and seems to have a high moral standard, but has a cold heart. His wife, Nora is a beautiful and faithful wife. She borrows money in order to cure her husband, but hides the fact because of Torvald s moral standards. However, Torvald is not really a moral person. This could be seen at the end of the story. Torvald finds out about the forgery of his wife, and gets furious that his wife has done an immoral thing. However, he soon finds out that the forgery would not affect his position, he forgives Nora.
There is no true conversation between the husband and the wife. Torvald always calls Nora by sweet animal names such as my squirrel, or squanderbird which always made her in a lower position. Everything seems well from the outside, as if they were living in a doll s house, and that was what Torvald wanted. He is only concerned about his reputation and honor. Torvald is ready to disclaim his wife if she comes in the way. It does not seem like he loves Nora, because how could one disclaim one s wife if one loves her. If one truly loved the other, some of their faults could be covered up such as her forgery since it was done to help another.
In this relationship Torvald is the controller and Nora is the peacemaker, just following what her husband says to bring peace to her family. Nora should have stated out what she did not like and want, not just trying to please Torvald. Torvald does not know and want to know the true Nora, and treats her like a child, dressing her the way he wants, and making her stay home and not do certain things. This can be compared to John in the Yellow Wallpaper, who treats his wife as a patient. The women are treated as if they were inferior, and are not treated as wives, without care or love. There could have been less of a problem if these two people Nora and Torvald felt close enough to tell their inner thoughts and solve their problems, but they were like strangers to another that did not make this work. Nora loved her husband, and believed in his love, but when she finally realizes that she was nothing more than a doll for Torvald, she decides to leave the house. She sees no hope in Torvald, who until the end was concerned about his reputation and could not understand his wife. This could have been prevented if they ever had serious talks and understood each other. They needed to get into a relationship where nothing was covered up, and deal with the ugly unwanted sides of another by communication.
In all of these stories one could see the relationships where men were in control, and women were the followers. All of the relationships had problems and the cause was the lack of love, and communication. They could have had better relationships if they solved problems by having true and honest conversations, and try to know and understand the other person s thoughts. Those were stories of the 19th century, but there are still problems between males and females dealing with unbalanced relationships, and miscommunications or no communications. Love is a hard subject, and there would always be problems in relationships dealing with it, but if one is willing to listen to another and puts effort into reaching true love, the relationship could be a happy one.