Mina S. L. Thompson, at Tarrant County College
â€œâ€™Re-viewing Charlotte Perkins Gilmanâ€™s: â€˜The Yellow Paperâ€™ Beyond Feminismâ€
grad student and full-time teacher
BA Penn State, MA , working on PhD
This is a live blogging of the session.
Presented her PowerPoint with yellow wallpaper background â˜º
artist in the 19th C
domestic arts movements in the late 1800s
sensationalism or â€œyellowâ€ journalism
Her place as an artist. A woman who is not allowed to write.
11 entries as diaries
“methodically examines and critiques the paperâ€™s design and quality”
broad statements about womenâ€™s limitations
Husband demands narrative avoid writing.
Doesn’t get that artistic people need â€œconstructive creative expressionâ€
â€œBut I must say what I feel and think in some wayâ€”it is such a relief!â€ (399)
yellow = sickness
racist concern over immigrants = Yellow Peril (Heilmann par. 4).
racist and anti-homosexual attitudes (para. 5).
Heilmann, Ann. â€œOverwriting Decadence: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Oscar Wilde, and the Feminization of Art in â€˜The Yellow Wallpaper.â€™â€ The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Newark: University of Delaware Press (2000) Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec Vol. 62 Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web.
Narrator shows design awareness.
Despised the â€œsmouldering uncleanâ€ wallpaperâ€¦
Also shows knowledge of design principles:
repetition (repeated by breadth, but no other way)
Gilmanâ€™s â€œWallpaperâ€ similar to Morrisâ€™s designs patterns:
with â€œchimeral effectsâ€ or primary and secondary patterns,
â€œrepellentâ€ and â€œrevoltingâ€ color, a â€œsmoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlightâ€ (Gilman 395; Thomas 7).
Thomas, Heather Kirk. â€œ[A] Kind of Debased Romanesque with Delirium Tremensâ€™: Late-Victorian Wall Coverings and Charlotte Perkins Gilmanâ€™s â€˜The Yellow Wallpaper.â€™â€ The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Newark: University of Delaware Press (2000) Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 62. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web.
protest of yellow journalism and implications:
Hated Ambrose Bierce. He wrote â€œpersonal attacks on women journalists.â€
Problems with William Randolph Hearst dynasty because reporters â€œexploited her as an object of scandal in the gossip columnsâ€ (Edelstein 73).
Edelstein, Sari. â€œCharlotte Perkins Gilman and the Yellow Newspaper.â€ Legacy 24.1: 72-92. The Project Muse. Web.
“Wallpaper, regardless of its poor design, isnâ€™t usually considered ‘sinful,'”
Newspapers at the time (and now) “revel in sex scandals, divorces, â€œexcessive illustrationâ€ and overblown headlines (Edelstein 74).”
Sensational novels were called yellow because used yellowed paper which was cheap to produce. (Edelstein again)
“vocabulary of composing” to describe patterns:
â€œconstantly irritate and provoke studyâ€ (Gilman 395)
â€œdestroy themselves in unheard of contradictionsâ€ (395)
â€œfollow that pointless pattern to some sort of a conclusionâ€ (398).
rhetorical parallels: â€œlooks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had!â€ (397)
femininity as eugenics:
Gilman was asuffragist.
white feminist progressive thinker
believed that women should make right choices (marriage, sex, birth) from (Seitler 67).
Also a blatant racist. Believed blacks needed to evolve to reach the same plane as whites (Seitler 68).
Seitler, Dana. â€œUnnatural Selection: Mothers, Eugenic Feminism, and Charlotte Perkins Gilmanâ€™s Regeneration Narratives. American Quarterly 55.1 (2003): 61-88. The American Studies Association. The Project Muse. Web.
a narrative construct of white, middle-class motherhood modeling ideal social progress.
strict rationalism and his fear of imagination
Janeâ€™s child imagination and her indulgence of it
We learn that she is significantly more ill than her husband ever understand. Husband disregards the illness is that he is not home.
covering up mental illness still too
Sharon Klander– The house is an old asylum, which is why it hasnâ€™t been rented. Maybeâ€¦ beautiful rooms where families would look but the upstairs rooms where they were kept.
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