Essay on “The Yellow Wallpaper” – Corrections + Conclusion

A few weeks ago I posted an essay on “The Yellow Wallpaper” that I had made with Agustin, and last class our teacher, Cecilia, gave us feedback on it and gave us instructions on how to write a conclusion. So here is our corrected essay with a conclusion:

The roles of men and women during the Victorian Times were very different. While men were expected to be educated and live a sociable life while working, women were expected to stay at home, take care of the domestic responsibilities and the children and were allowed to express only certain opinions as they were barely considered people. The women that appear in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, metonymically represent the women of the 19th century, although the three in very different ways: the perfect housewife, the oppressed wife, and the women rebelling against traditional morals.

     First of all, throughout the story Jennie, the narrator’s sister-in-law, is portrayed as the idyllic housewife of the time. She stayed in the house all day long and did everything that a man did not do at those times but that a woman was expected to do:, doing laundry, cleaning the house, cooking for everyone, including the narrator, that in her situation could not do much. “She is a perfect, an enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession”. This quotation shows  the representation of Jennie as the ideal woman. She loved her role as a housekeeper and did not aspire to do anything else, since women were not supposed to.

     As regards the narrator, the author conveys through her the restrictions women used to have. But since according to John, her husband, she was “sick”, she was forbidden to do many more things, which left her with the ability to do only very specific activities, such as sleeping a lot, eating, reading, taking walks. Also, she was absolutely forbidden to work until she was well again. All these restrictions were supposed to make her recover her health. And at the beginning of the story, when she is explaining that her husband did not believe that she was sick, only that she needed to rest, she expresses “that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do [her] good”, which means that instead of just resting, she believed that being active would help her regain her strength. Nevertheless, she did not say anything. This clearly represents the oppressed women, and their submission to authority. In this case, such power of authority is anchored in her husband’s knowledge:“If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency – what is one to do?”. This quotation shows the power and superiority of men and their opinions over women’s and how the narrator did not have a voice of her own, if her husband said something was a certain way, then it was that certain way. And by using the pronoun ‘one’, it shows she is not talking just about herself, she is talking in behalf of the female community.

     Furthermore, by asking the question of “what is one to do?”, she is questioning her existence. Due to all these restrictions, she can not be who she really is. This causes her to supposedly start going mad. But in reality, she was not crazy, she was simply labeled as that since she started acting in a way that was out of the ordinary for women at that time. She started writing in secret, and she even tried saying that she was not recovering her health because her problem was not physical, but mental, which only caused John to scold her. He immediately told her reproachfully: “I beg of you (…) that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy. Can you trust me as a physician when I tell you so?”. This shows that to him, like most people, everything that one could not see nor touch was not real. Positivism did not support it and whenever someone tried defying that, they were viewed as crazy. The narrator believed that this made her husband “so wise”, when in reality, these beliefs showed ignorance. This problem of existentialism represents the women of the time that questioned and did not feel like they fitted society’s idea of women.

     Finally, the last woman that appears in the story is the one in the wallpaper. She is used to represent the women of the time that were trying to break free from the oppressive society. To describe her and her behavior the narrator says: “By daylight she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still”. In this quotation, there is a parallelism between her and the women that during the day, when they were out in public, acted in a restrained and low-key way as not to reveal their true selves and not to have to deal with society’s heavy opposition. And the pattern portrays this precisely, society’s opposition and oppression, which caused women to act that way. But at night, when she crept out of the wallpaper, she depicts the women that let go and allowed themselves to be who they truly were for a while. And they did it at night as not to be seen and treated as mad people. Therefore, as mentioned in the beginning of the paragraph, the woman inside the wallpaper represents the women rebelling against traditional morals, although secretly when no one could see them as not to be judged by society.

By virtue of the previous analysis, the women that appear in “The Yellow Wallpaper” metonymically represent the women of the 19th century. Jennie, John’s sister, represents what women were expected to act and be like at that time: the perfect housewife. The narrator portrays the oppressed women living behind the male figure’s shadow and authority and the women that felt like they did not fit into the restrictive and close-minded society. The woman trapped in the wallpaper depicts the women that secretly tried to break free from society’s oppressive views and were themselves without following the traditional rules.

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Essay on Causes of the French Revoluion

This is an essay I made that we were asked to write on the causes of the French Revolution:

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“Starvation was the main cause leading to the storming of the Bastille.” Discuss.

The following essay will develop whether starvation was the main cause leading to the storming of the Bastille.

Firstly, the people felt unheard and treated as inferiors by the king and the First and Second Estate. The storming of the Bastille was a call for attention. At the Estates General, even though the different social classes were able to agree on some terms, many other agreements couldn’t be reached such as the privileges connected to taxation. This angered the Third Estate since at the gathering, one of their objectives was to make this part of the system more fair. Nonetheless, the king’s objective was just the opposite. He summoned the meeting to get approval for a raise in taxes. Therefore, even though the Third Estate was made up of ninety-eight percent of the population, voting was by estate instead of head, which meant that with the clergy and nobility siding, there was no way their wishes would be granted as they wouldn’t give up what benefited them. As a result the National Assembly was formed and started meeting at a different hall. But to make matters worse, Louis XVI ordered to have it locked. This proved his egocentrism and his interest in only his own benefit which caused people to realise that if they wanted to be really heard and taken seriously, they would have to take more extreme measures.  Initially, they didn’t even want to overthrow the monarchy, they just wanted their wishes and complaints to be taken into account, but since they didn’t see this happening in the near future, they decided to take matters into their own hands and make a powerful statement by storming into the Bastille.

Secondly, the complaints about the differences in the social system, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, were a cause of people’s discontent as well. There was a huge difference between the average economical position of the people that integrated the Third Estate and the people that integrated the First and Second Estate. The peasants, the bourgeoisie and the artisans were the ones that had to pay taxes, while the clergy gained money by collecting the taxes, and in many cases stealing money, and the nobility gained money by collecting the rent. Considering the agricultural and financial crisis, that we will get into later on, hardship ruled mainly among the lower class. This is why the people started demanding action from the king to be taken and, most importantly, change. There was a great desire of equality and justice. It seemed like a joke that while some people could barely afford to have a roof over their heads, others were roaming around their gigantic castles.

Third of all, as said in Khan Academy’s video: “you can never underestimate what people are willing to do when they are actually hungry”. Starvation became a very big problem for France, but what made it even worse was that the people that suffered from this, were the ones who had to pay the taxes to the ones that were living the luxurious lives. So this adds up to the cause mentioned afore. There was a notable inequality between the Estates which the Third Estate brought up at the Estates General, but were ignored because of the egocentrism of the powerful figures in France, which, again, as mentioned before, caused fury to build up.

Fourth of all, the monarchs’ attitude and poor decision making was what got the people to get fed up. Louis XVI didn’t have a very powerful nor imposing enough personality to defend his position or his beliefs, and it did not help that his wife was spending all of France’s funds while people were lying on the streets begging for food. This angered people and caused them to lose the love and respect they had for their rulers, which the Jacobins took advantage of later on when convincing them that the monarchy should be abolished.

Fifth of all, the rivalry with Great Britain brought France down a spiral hole. This constant competition of trying to be the world power and bringing each other down got France to take part in two conflicts that drained her economically. Both the Seven Years War, which was fought mainly by these two major powers, and the American Revolution, which the French joined to support the Americans to weaken their coloniser, cost France a lot since it got her to lose her position as the world power and it got her to have many debts. As a response to this financial crisis, Louis XVI, decided to raise the taxes which, added to the problems with the crops, eventually led to the starvation of the people and to the building up of anger of the Third Estate, as mentioned before, because of taxation.

Finally, even though historians debate whether it was an actual cause of the revolution or not, during the Enlightenment a mentality very similar to the one of the French at this time emerged. Philosophers came up with new ways of thinking connected to the ideas of criticism, science and reason. For instance, people started thinking that God wasn’t the answer to everything nor the center of the universe, which is connected to the French not giving that much importance to the fact that the king was supposed to have the divine right to rule and had been sent directly by God. They were now criticising his decisions and demanding change from him.

All in all, the causes mentioned last are at the same time causes for the ones mentioned before them. Hence why the discontent of, mainly, the Third Estate is considered the main cause that led to the breaking in of the prison. Because the discontent was inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment and caused by the unjust social division, by the starvation, by the monarch’s attitude and poor-decision making which was represented in the rivalry with Great Britain.

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The Eye as a Sense Organ

In our Biology class we have been studying how the nervous system works. We studied the different receptros, and to study the eye as a sense organ our teacher, Male, asked us to:

1.Search in the internet a short video about pupil reflex:

2.Draw a flow chart explaining the reflex (stimulus, receptors, coordinator, effectors, effect and response).

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