Do you think that the wallpaper was truely repulsive or was it just her state of mind
Jimmy-I can't imagine that the wallpaper actually had the pattern of a creepy woman trapped in a cage. It was probably just her depressed state of mind from the Rest Cure and being separated from her family and anything else that the Rest Cure uses.
I think that since she switched her view of the wallpaper by the end of the story, it was just her state of mind.
Do you guys agree with what Kenna is saying about how the wallpaper was truly a reflection of her mind, and a part of her soul?
We agree with hannah. The patterns in the wallpaper were probably something that she made up in her head, because we don't think it's very likely that a such pictures would be on a a wallpaper.
I do not think that it was the wallpaper. I think that it was her state of mind--being alone and confined to the same room everyday, she needed a release, and something to occupy her time. The wallpaper troubled her from the start, and because she had nothing else to do, all of her attention went into the wallpaper. She identified herself with the wallpaper and eventually thought she was part of the wallpaper. I do not think the wall paper did this all to her, but that she did this to herself, rather, by means of the wallpaper.
I think that the mind sees what it wants to see, if she felt like a women trapped then the wall paper reflected her emotions and appeared to be a women in a cage.
I totally think it was just her state of mind. It reminded me of when in "The Tell-Tale Heart" the raven's eye of the old man really bugged and drove the other man insane.
I don't think that the wallpaper was truely repulsive. I think it was entirely her state of mind. I don't know if anyone else felt this way, but this piece seemed almost like a gothic story to me. The way she reacted to the yellow wallpaper was very similar to the way the narrator from Poe's A Tell Tale Heart did to the old mans eye. We knew in that story the narrator was crazy, and so this is why I sort of think that it was just her state of mind.
I don't think the actual pattern on the wallpaper is significant. I think the true significance lies in what the wallpaper represents. The wallpaper covers the walls, and I think this is a commentary on the superficiality of society.
Chelseah- It might be a look into her soul because when the sun shines on it she seems to hate it a lot more than when the moon shines on it so this could be a reflection of the blackness within her deppression
I think there are a great many ugly wallpapers out there; it's certainly possible that it was as atrocious as she said. But its hideousness was magnified by the fact that it was all she could focus on--every nitpicky little detail soon came to consume here and served as a constant reminder of her rather unfortunate predicament.
Brian- I agree with you. This seemed more like a Gothic story to me. The themes of suicide, the paranormal, and insanity overpower the feminist themes.
it seems that everybody is pretty much in agreement that its all in her mind, and i agree. but i cant help but wonder, what if they purposely put up creepy wallpaper when bedresting somebody? i mean, that would seem to fit in with their odd practices
Kari- I agree with what you said with a little twist I think that the wall paper is all around enveloping everything and I think that it represents how her mind was trapped surrounded, with no way out.
Does anyone else agree with the thought that the "woman" behind the yellow wallpaper could have been her doppelganger? (spelling?)
I agree with Kari about the superficial side of society. The wallpaper represented how distorted and ill the woman seemed to her husband, and others. Once the wallpaper was down, the wall was bare and not what it seemed on the outside, much like how the woman was not like what they thought of her.
I agree with Madison, but the wallpaper impacted Jennie and John as well. The narrator said she saw them several times looking at the paper as if they were trying to figure it out.
I just thought of the wallpaper being like her soul people just had to get over how ugly it was and until they did that it would remain ugly just as she had to get over how ugly the wallaper. was the "Cure" for her to get over herself.
Dan- that is a good point. The wallpaper is supposedly trapping the woman she was trying to release like her "husband" was trying to trap her.
I thought it was interesting in the research Kari and I did in how she said her purpose in writing this piece was to prevent people from going crazy. I also found some information that would suggest she felt strongly about woman's rights. I'm just wondering, how does this piece prevent people from going crazy?
Fitz-It's true that they had some odd practices back then, but most of them seemed logical at the time. We don't see how deliberately tormenting someone suffering from hysteria would be logical.
Matt, I agree with you. I think they did try to put things in the room that would occupy them and their thoughts so they could almost get trapped in them. They almost used these methods to prove they were insane and to lock them away forever instead of helping the person.
On the marriage of the narrator and her husband:I frequently questioned their relationship throughout this story. He was always willing to put her off, into another room, or leave her at the house while he went out. He wasnt one to believe her when she said there was something wrong with her, and her strongly disagreed with what she said with the wallpaper. He did not seem a very loving husband, to me. Even though he addressed her in a loving way, it seemed more that he was talking to a sick child. Maybe he was just interested in "curing" her. --which is also confusing to me because at the begining of the story, no one thought anything was wrong with her. It just seemed that the "better" she was getting, according to everyone else, the more insane she really seemed to become.
Jordan~ I thought the same thing while I was reading this. I wondered if there was a mirror or something that caused her to see the distorted side of herself, like a doppelganger.
Jordan- that's what I was thinking. But then I started thinking of how the actual wallpaper might be her evil doppleganger and the shadow might be what she needs to be and the wallpaper was keeping her stuck behind it until she got past it and tore down the wallpaper which was her deppression.
I think she is trying to provide any future "victim" of the rest cure with the tools necessary to rebel. I think she is saying that even though the down-troden (sp?) may not appear to have power, there are still ways in which they can turn the tables on their abusers.
declan/nathan- if they are not delibratley tormenting semi-insane people, why are they locking them in a room and forcing them to stay in bed for two months? i know two months of just laying there would definatley drive me crazy.
Brian,I think this relates to the story as well, because when I was reading it I felt almost as if the wallpaper was at times causing her to go insane, but at others it was keeping her from going insane. She was just so inconsistent in her writing, almost as if it was a different situation every day. I think that it said this piece was written to keep people from going insane because to her, it was the last thing that was actually keeping her from it. If she didn't have her writing, she might have gone even more insane than already.
Brain, i was bewildered by that too. When I was reading the story I felt so confused and that I too was going crazy. Did she think that by telling "her story" that it would help others to not follow her sam mistakes or that she wanted to reveal that these people weren't technically crazy but the system?
Brian~ Maybe this story was meant, in a very weird manner, to show women who were going through the same experience that they can get out alive, and their lives will be better again. Maybe it also tells the women reading this that they should not let their husbands control them so much.
I just was thinking about if I was locked ina room alone how it would effect me, do you guys think it would be bearable regardless of being depressed. Do you think the "rest cure" is truly cruel and unusual punishment?
What did the wallpaper really mean to the narrator? Why, of all things, did she choose the wallpaper to obsess about and drive herself to insanity?
Fitz-Maybe we're just good people, but we believe that no one would deliberately torture someone like that. We think they honestly thought that two months of bed rest could help these insane people.
Fitz , I don't think that they purposely put the wallpaper in the room. I think the point of isolating them in these rooms for this treatment to to clear their minds completely. They literally wanted them to think and do nothing. However, if you were isolated in a room for long periods of time maybe you would start seeing things in the wall. Maybe it was just plain yellow wallpaper with no designs on it at all; she just started seeing them in her mind.
Jordan- I think that the woman she saw in the wallpaper was a reflection of herself. I think the state of her mind disabled her and supressed her feelings of being trapped. These feelings manifested in a vision of a woman trying to escape from the wallpaper.
Kari--But arguably, the narrator is never successful in her quest to conquer it. Towards the end of the story I had a very vivid image of this crazy lady, shrieking hysterically (har har), freaking out over wallpaper. Even the last sentence refers to this obsession, suggesting that she received irreversible mental damage from her treatment.
Dan- I think the rest cure was ignorance. What do you do when you had a cold, rest, sleep it off and stay off your feet. The rest cure was just a major backlash from this cure. The isolation could just be to keep her from hurting herself and other people. Also, What do you think of yellow being the safe color in the village but the evil color in this story?
Dan- I think that it is not the action of being locked in a room by yourself that is bad, rather it is the fear of being locked in the room.
dan- i think it definatley is cruel and unusual, its the same as, if not worse than, solitary confinment
Tom- she may be hysterical, but she is at peace with herself. Do you think it is easier to be aware that you might be going insane and have no power to stop it, or to actually be insane with no awareness of it?
Fitz-They might lock insane people in rooms to keep them away from the sane/keep the disease from spreading. It is a way to get rid of the problem.
Hmm Jimmy that is a really good question, i think yellow is a true representation of the emotion of fear, weakness, etc. But it is a strange connection to the village.
Dan~ I think that it would not be bearable because at some point, it has to get really unsettling, being in a room all by yourself, without anything to do. As for the cruel/unusual punishment, I think that the people who gave women this treatment should have thought about how they would fair if they had to go through the same treatment. If they did this, then they probably would have stopped the treatment.
Dan, I do think it is one of those methods that is kind of like torture. To be left alone for a long period of time where you are not aloud to feed yourself or even talk out loud would only leave you to your thoughts. The mind can be a dangerous place when it has been dormat for so long, and yet still wheeling and dealing around. The rest cure's intentions was good if you see i from their point of view back in the day, but the outcome was always unsettling. why didn't they come up with another "cure" if their current one was failing?
Tom I completey agree and thats what made me question how this story could be written to help woman from going crazy. Ultimately, the narrator becomes crazy. You would think that if the purpose was to help people, she would have conquered her mind and remained sane.And to comment on what Hannah just said on the inner cirlce, maybe the yellow wallpaper represents the husbands during this time and how they controlled the women. Then, she sees the woman behind the paper representing herself behind her husbands power. Then she rips the wallpaper off to perhaps symbolize taking away this power from the husbands and in this way maybe the author was showing how this piece was written to prevent people from going crazy.
Kari, I think it's arguable that she was truly insane from the beginning, but her condition becomes increasingly aware to the reader as the story progresses. It would probably be easier to blissfully unaware of your surroundings, though it might hurt if you were, say, in la-la-land while being attacked a spork murderer. Ignorance is bliss, but unfortunately poses the greatest danger to the individual.
Has anyone ever heard that yellow is the neutral gender color? I don't know where I heard that. I heard that when new parents are preparing a room for their child and they don't know if its a boy or girl, rather than painting the room pink or blue, they will pain it yellow. In a twisted way I thought this related to the story and how we have been discussing the power distribution between genders. She also continuously talks about the children in the room. I don't know, I guess its just somthing to think about.
Brian- that is a really good point. Also, after she tore off the paper she was creeping around. She didn't stand up and act as if she was empowered. She appeared helpless, but at the same time assured of herself. Maybe this symbolized her belief that women should have more power, but she is aware of the struggle it will be to get power.
Hannah, I think she didn't choose the wallpaper, but that the wallpaper chose her. The wallpaper was disturbing and did't fit in such a pure place like a nursery, like I'm guessing the room is. The damage to the paper as well was unsettlig due to the fact that their was figures in the paper that the mind starts to see after a time of isolation.
Brian-That was deep. We agree that the author could have indended for that to be symbolic, however it could just be that she ripped it off because she hated it so much.
Tom- But is her vulnerability a bad thing? I am not saying that mental illness can't be rehillibated, but in a case such as hers, I'm not sure it would be possible. I think her bliss is a metaphor for her death.
Do you think that the husband might have wanted to do away with his wife, and kept her in the room to slowly make her insane? Maybe that is a stretch, but I was just wondering.
I think the theme of this story is what happens to the mind after a time of isolation and what people portray as insane.
Declan, I'm always one to say there isnt symbolism in things, but it was just somthing i thought about.
Tom- I agree. I think she is aware of herself and her surroundings to an extent. At the end she seemed very confident in what she was doing as she creeped around. She may have been crazy, but she was still aware and confident in her actions. So, to what extent can we assume she is crazy.
The author is trying to communicate to the reader that the Rest Cure was not a good treatment for women at all, that it just drew them into a deeper and deeper depression.
I think that the author was trying to state that the mind should not be left to its own devices, because it can cause dangerous and terrible things to happen.
What is the author trying to communicate? That putting people in rooms for infinite amounts of time will turn them crazy, and is really quite counterproductive to the intent of doing so.That, and never use ugly wallpaper.
I think that the author is trying to rationalize insanity and is trying to share insanity with the sane.
The author is communicating that your state of mind changes the world around you.
6TH HOUR!Did ripping the wallpaper impact John like she had wanted it to? Did she feel liberated once it was gone?
How did everyone interpret the ending? Do you think John just fainted or did he die?
first of all, why did he faint?
Maria-Maybe it didn't have an impact on John the way she wanted it too, but I think it liberated her. It helped her to show that she can break free.
Maria-I like that question,I personally think that she thought that ripping off the wallpaper would make her feel better, but when she actually did... she has more of an empty feeling.
Maria-Based on the research, she said that she felt very oppressed, and so I think that it was this was her way of lashing out.
I found the author was constantly praising and referring to "ordinary" things and how things should be. However, she would then describe the insane and unexpected parts of life, praising the "extraordinary" also. What do you think the purpose of writing this juxtaposition was?
I think that when she ripped of the wallpaper she was essentially liberating herself. John fainting could represent his loss of power over her.
caitlin-What makes you think that she felt liberated... because I got a total different perception.
Caitlin-do you believe going crazy and ripping the wallpaper was a way of her getting free or do you think it trapped her more?
At the end, what exactly happened? I got confused about the part where John fainted or something and she paraded around in the room.
Maria-I don't think that ripping the paper had the effect on John that she had expected but it still liberated her because she realized that she could also have an effect on him
Tina-Is it possible that she killed him? How was he driving her to the point insanity?
Well, you know how when you are mad you sometimes yell into a pillow and you feel better afterwards? It's kind -of like that. But I can see how it could leave her with an unhappy, empty feeling.
I personally think that John's reaction at the end of the story was very out of place and weird. I mean, how many normal people would faint after seeing wallpaper torn down and holes in the floor? Maybe something is wrong with John. Hmmm...
Jess--I agree, she depended so much on while she was being forced to just sit in that room, and so later when she ripped it off, it was almost like she was ripping away a part of her life.Tina and Lara--I think John fainting represented how she finally won, he realized his oppression went way too far.
did she write this story for a personal nature, or to disprove th rest theroy.
Maria-I think that the narrator finally did feel free, because when John came in and saw her creeping on the floor, he realized he could not control her and he fainted. I think that this is kind of a statement about stereotypes, because usually women are the weak ones who faint, but this time the big, strong doctor was the one who finally hit the ground. This was a victory for the narrator, because even though she was insane, she was no longer trapped by a male dominated society.
lara-I think that her husband fainted, just to prove a point to her. It was like saying to her that if you keep acting like this, it will be like you died. By doing that it kind of made her realize how much she would be missed if she was gone, and ow much pain he would be in.
I think the wall paper is a symbolism of society and how it traps the female perspective in a dominate male society where males are strong and females are weak. Also, I think that the narrator sees not just a random woman behind the pattern of bars; I think she sees herself trapped behind the bars struggling to release a more free side of herself and strive to be better. The wall paper seems so familiar and all around her because she relates to the woman behind the bars, a trapped individual in her mind, in her society and in her room isolated from her own beliefs trapped inside her husband’s "superior" beliefs.
Sorry I posted my comment twice!
Julia, that is a very good point. Is there a chance that John was the one with the problem and not the lady?
The woman ended with the phrase, "I had to creep over [John] every time!" What could this symbolize?
Carly-I think that maybe she wrote it to prove what she was going through, but then later realized that it rebutted the rest theory.
carley - Based on her experience with the Rest Cure, I think she wrote the story to show the effects of the Cure. Also, was she describing her own problems and thoughts in the story, or did she embellish/invent the thoughts and troubles to draw the reader in?
Why does she feel obliged to bend to her husband's wishes just because she thinks that she is not greatful enough for his love?
Carley-It could possibly be that she was trying to disprove the rest theory because based on research, it did not help the author at all.
Tana.I never thought of it that way. I think that the lady is the one with the problem, but she might be trying to convince herself that everyone else has the problem and she's normal.
I thought it was interesting how the narrator says, 'She said that the paper stained everything it touched..." What do you guys think about this? Is she saying that there was no way to disguise opression and that it seeps into every aspect of life?
here is an idea that I inadvertantly stole from Mrs. Ackerman's class...they thought that maybe John is not her husband, but the doctor that is taking care of her in an insane asylum...but I'm not sure about this idea. it sounds kind of weird.
What is the importance of the smell? If you don't remember, "But there is something else about that paper -- the smell! I noticed it the moment we came into the room, but with so much air and sun it was not bad. Now we have had a week of fog and rain, and whether the windows are open or not, the smell is here. It creeps all over the house. I find it hovering in the dining-room, skulking in the parlor, hiding in the hall, lying in wait for me on the stairs. It gets into my hair. Even when I go to ride, if I turn my head suddenly and surprise it -- there is that smell! Such a peculiar odor, too! I have spent hours in trying to analyze it, to find what it smelled like. It is not bad -- at first, and very gentle, but quite the subtlest, most enduring odor I ever met. In this damp weather it is awful, I wake up in the night and find it hanging over me. It used to disturb me at first. I thought seriously of burning the house -- to reach the smell. But now I am used to it. The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell."
lara-I think that it means that she always had to go through him and didn't have total control over herself. Women at the time were connected to their husbands and known through her husbands. The "creeping" was her way of trying to escape from being apart of him and apart of his name. Do you think that she disliked her husband... or loved him?
Lara-I think that she blamed her insanity on her husband because he was "oppressing" her. Since he had such an influence on her life, she knew that she would forever be trying to get through him to have a free state of mind.
Tina.I actually thought that at first. I thought that she was in an insane asylum and that he was the doctor and she just viewed him as her husband. But that wouldn't make much sense with the creeping over him part.
Sara,That is a very good point. She could just be trying to convince herself that she is the normal one and everybody around her is abnormal. By this she is kind of comforting herself and feels like she fits in.
LauraI think that might symbolize her newfound freedom in doing what she wants to do without John's approval. She has finally risen above him by walking over him
Josh - I thought the same thing about the wallpaper! I thought that the wallpaper symbolized the struggle of the "feminine condition" and how difficult it was to be "different" in that society.
Tina- That is an interesting idea, but I think it mentions some more intimate things in the story- yuck!...or maybe she imagined that? Maybe she made up this whole thing in her mind?...deep
Tina-That's a really interesting thought. I thought that it said in the text that he was her husband and also her doctor. But, then how does the baby fit into the picture?
A yellow smell--When I think of a yellow smell I think of illness. Something the way she describes it makes it seem as if it's really grungy and dislikeable.Does she really smell something, or is it her mind forcing her to smell it?
Christa--Ya, I think that's what it is. She said that there was a "distinct yellow smell," I think that she was jusr realizing that this repression was causing every aspect of her life to crash.
Jess-I think at first she loved her husband, at least, but then when the wallpaper started having an influence over her, she got mad at him. She still believes it is improper to be mad at her husband, though, so I think maybe the whole reason she ever loved him was because that was her role, that was what she was supposed to do as a woman.
Tina-That is an interesting idea, but I think that it actually was her husband, because in one part of the story, John says, "I beg of you, for our child's sake, as well as your own...". Also, I don't think that the narrator would have the sense of devotion that she did for John if he was not her husband. She tried so hard to please him, and I think this was just a result of the society in which she lived, which encouraged women to serve their husbands completely selflessly and like a king.
Have doctors abused their power that we have given them, through the idea of "Doctors know best"?
Tina,I like that idea about John being a doctor or someone there to help the lady with her illness. It would all make sense and I guess that we kind of assume that John is the husband since he is the one that took her away but in never really mentions that he is the husband.
Hey Maria- This has been bugging me for the longest time; what is the picture on your blog?
Why do you guys think that he fainted?
Jessica-I think that she did like John, at first. She understood that he meant well for him. However, by the end of the story, i think that she blamed him for her oppression. It's important to note that she never helped him up, but continued to "creep" around him.
Never mind my other comment, it does mention something about marriage.
Jess--I think I almost smell that yellow smell, the smell of old age, like when you open a really old book and it's dusty and smelly. Maybe this represents how she feels her life is getting old and dusty...hmmm
For sure Damien, but I don't think for personal gain at this point. I think they overperscribe, but I'm not sure its for motive.
Erin- good point. Peronally, I don't think that she was in an asylum but I like the idea that though she thinks it used to be a nursery, it used to be an asylum.Speaking of the baby, what do you think about that? She shows conflicting opinions- at first she's like, what a sweet baby! And for the rest of the time it's like it doesn't even exist...HEY do you think that the author did that on purpose? rebelling against the Rest Cure for not letting you see your family, not letting mothers be mothers because they have to have a nanny?
"Yellow Smell" --- In William Wilson (sorry - that was a long time ago) the original William Wilson frequently smelled a distinct smell when the "twin" was near. Do you think this could be similar for the "yellow smell?"
What is the significance of the creeping? Did the narrator feel like she had to creep because women were "inferior" in the society and she was ashamed? Did she feel more comfortable being subservient and controlled?
I thought that John fainted because she was supposed to uphold this image in society of a normal house wife. So, when he saw her in her madness he was suprised and didn't know how to handle it.
Caitlin--Not to get off topic or anything, but it is a Marble Mocha Latte. Discontinued by Starbucks, I don't understand.
tina-What you said about John not being her husband, makes a lot of sense. Just her general attitude towards him kind of made me believe that he wasn't her husband.It was as though she had no respect for him, but at the same time, she was hopeful when he showed up, beacause she thought that she could get out.
CAITLIN!ITS A MARBLE MOCHA MACHIATTO!
Lara-That's interesting, because I think that she loved him so much that she couldn't help herself. She wanted to show him how much she loved him and cared for him; but, she had to help herself. Another internal struggle to cause her to become more insane.
"I don't blame her a bit. It must be very humiliating to be caught creeping by daylight!" I think this quote is very humorous because the narrator even though she is isolated from the world she still knows her place in society and strives to perform lady-like rituals to seem proper. I'm just wondering how does society affect genders and their "place" in society?
Has she always been crazy? Because she says that the wallpaper has charater and that when she was littleshe knew a chair that was like a strong friend? Can it just be a child like mind or is she just crazy?
Christa--I think that she feels like there are other women creeping behind patterns of the walls and in the end, she feels like she has become one of them, and is even more oppressed.
Maria-That's interesting.Like she can smell the death coming nearer...? Maybe that's like her in reality, like when she commited suicide.
I have determined that John fainted because he is such a girl.
Jess, do you really think that she loved him? I think its more of her feeling like she has to make him happy. At the end she starts to hate him as she realizes that he's causing her to go crazy.
Have you ever caught yourself counting ceiling tiles or looking for patterns in your bed sheets when you have nothing else to do? I think that is kind-of what she is going through.
That's a weird way of thinking about it Maria. haha. That would be kind of scary because it's like you are turning into everyone else that is going crazy.
I think that she ascended into freedom. Just to let y'all know.
Julia-wow I had never thought of that but I think it does-because in both stories they dwell on another thing so much it starts invading all of their senses-for the Yellow Wallpaper, Jennie said it got on her clothes, and she was always looking at it and thinking about it, and then there was the smell. I know she didn't start licking it ever, but whatever.
Maddy---She resents him in the end, but, it's not out of hatred. It's out of confusion, she knows that she's dwindling down and that she is becoming crazy, and she doesn't want to place the insanity on herself. She wants to love him and help him, yet she is locked in a room... she was just extremely confused.
Damian- I don't think the narrator is crazy personally I see her life as a struggle to break the norm and free herself from a male society. I think that she make the chair her friend so that she can relate to an object that is almost in the same disposition as herself.
Tina--Actually I think that it shows how women are stronger than men. No, seriously, that's what the author believed and fought for.
Tina-Yeah I was wondering what happened to the baby because it wasn't talked about alot. And I thought that at the time that this story was written that women were house wives and she should have been taking care of her baby and would have wanted to be around it. I was thinking that the baby wasn't mentioned because she was rebelling against the typical stereotype house wife, thinking that she didn't need to take care of a baby. Having a baby was too typical of a womens role.
damian-I don't think that doctors have abused their powers, I think that it just a matter of perception. It's human nature to mentally make things worse than they actually are.
I would always see circus performers in the curtains by my bed when I was little, but I never felt their feelings or yearned to be like them. I think the women is a little crazy, if we are taking this story literally.
the ceiling tiles thing i can understand.ever read up on solitary confinment?works wonders with prisoners in jails.left to its own devices the chances of the brain going insane. scary.
Maria-Women are essentially stronger, maybe not physically, but mentally. I mean think of all the stuff women have to go through...:(
i belive the main charactor is truly insane.i do not belive the author was.
i think she did love him.but yes by the end i belive she no longer did.
Does anyone think that Mrs. Pontelliere is having an affair with Robert?
Lecalire had all the guys stay after class yesterday to tell us that this book portrayed men essentially evil. In the first few chapters, is there any signs of this already?
Does anyone know why Mrs. Pontellier crying. Is it lonliness, hoplessness, exasperation, or something else?
brian- just look at ty's comment she's possibly having an affair while her husband is away
Ty- that's what i thought at first. i think that at this point they are not having an affair, but it will develop into one later in the plot
Brian- I don't think the book portrays men as evil, rather just ignorant. To me, it seems like he doesn't understand why she is suffering in the marriage and why she refuses to accept gender roles.
Ty I thought there were some clues showing they might be having an affair however its hard to tell this early.
Brian-I thought it might have portrsyed the women as evil rather than the men, especially when it talked about how the wife treated the children.
Brian- I think that the author is showing that Mr. Pontelliere is evil. He doesn't seem to contribute to the family at all and shows now affection for his wife.
Ty, I did find the relationship between Robert and Mrs. Pontelliere to be rather strange. He stayed back just to spend time with her rather than playing games with Mr. Pontelliere. I also got the impression that the marriage between Mr. and Mrs. Pontelliere wasn't exactly stable. The two could be just close, or there could be somthing more there.
Ty- I think the affair theory is possible. She already has a husband and during this time period it is a bit out of the norm for a man and a woman to just go and hang out. I think I'd still be skeptical today if I heard a married woman was going to hang out with just one of her guy friends.
In response to Kari do you think that with her emotional state the rest cure might come into play?
Brian- I dont think that we have seen anything particularly evil. However we do see how Mr. Pontellier does not value his wife, even though he sends her delicasies.
So far, I think that Mrs. P was crying because she is sick of her everyday life and wants something more. Her husband expects so much more of her than she wants to give. She desires something else, and she knows that she cannot get it. I think that is why she was crying.
Brian, I think we can see glimmers of evil in the way that Mr. Pontalleire treats his wife. They are married but there really aren't any signs of love. Evil comes in many forms and intensities, and in this case the lack of appreciation can be seen as horrible and maybe potentially evil.
Ty- I don't think she is having an actual affair with him. I would call it more of an emotional affair, if that makes any sense. Although I don't think it represents the general standards of an affair, I think their closeness and intellectual connection cause the same harm to a marriage as a true affair.
I think that she is just there because he wants to be able to have the security of a wife and someone to deal with the kids. But in actuality he does not appreciate her or value her opinion or her life.
I agree with Zach. It is alittle wierd that she would just stay and talk with Robert while her husband is gone. It is out of place and was not formal at the time. I also think that it is interesting that Mr. Pontellier doesn't notice anything.
Brian and Zach, I agree. It doesn't seem likely that the two are just friends, especially in this time period. I think it was strange though that Mr. Pontelliere did not question it when Robert wanted to stay with his wife while he was out.
Kari, I agree with you that it is an emotional affair too. There aren't any clues so far that it's anything more.
Dan~ I think that she might bring the rest cure upon herself. She hasn't seem like a strong person so far, and that her husband was used to her not being such a happy mother figure, so it isn't a new action for her to mope. I think that she might go deeper into this "un motherly" state, and resign herself from everyone else.
Brian- I think Mr. P is portrayed as evil because we see him distancing himself to play cards and whatever else he found pleasing to him. The author also had him smoking in every chapter, does she want us to think all men did was smoke and whatever else they felt like without taking responsibility for other things?
I agree mostly with what has been said. I don't think at this point, the men or the woman have done anything "evil". However, we have seen already the power Mr. Pontelliere has over his wife. He scolds her for getting sun burnt and he claims that she doesnt care for her children the way other women do in the society. I don't think anything "evil" has happened yet, but I do think that there is more to come that could be evil.
kari- it might be but do you think her husband would like that she was seeing another man when he wasn't home even if they weren't doing anything. Do you think anyone would see it as not an affair?And as for that matter why does an affair have to be sexual for it to be wrong?
I agree with Laura. She came to ralizze how horrible her life really is. She had an emotional breakdown with this realization. So all of her thoughts came together at once and the only thing she could do was pity herself.
Ty~ Maybe Mr. P doesn't think that Mrs. P would do something like that, since he probably thinks that she is happy and just has Robert as a friend, because she has nothing else to do.
Dan, I don't know whether she was specifically treated with the rest cure, but I think the mindset is similar. I think women of the age felt that men just didn't understand anything about them. They didn't realize that women can't be treated the way that men are. I am not saying that women are emotionally weaker, but we are rattled by different things then men. Back to the story, I think Mrs. Potellier, has been significantly weakened by the fact that he is completely ignorant as to her daily struggle.
Jimmy~ It doesn't necessarily have to be sexual, because Mrs. P seems to be more at ease and happy around Robert so I think that it is more of a "emotional" affair. I think that she has more loyalties to Robert than her husband.
Do you think Mrs. P does care for her children or not?
I agree with Hannah that she knows her children better. It is almost a motherly intuition that she knows if her children are ok. Like it is a kind of feeling she gets.
Yea Ty, I thought it was strange he didn't even question him staying alone with his wife. He didn't even question them going to the beach together. This might show just how loosely married they are. I don't believe that they love eachother, and are rather married by convinience. Even in the end when the other woman say she has the greatest husband, we can tell Mrs. Pontelliere is not sinscere when she agrees with them. I think there is somthing that we don't know yet about their reelationship.
I was just wondering if anyone else might have seen waht i thought of as a gender switch? To me, it seemed like the father was more of the mother figure, while the mother figure, Ms. Pontiller seems to be more aloof with her children and her husband and their lives maybe like a male figure would have been back then. Was I the onely one to see this, or did this really happen back then in Louisiana? Is this a feminist technique?
I agree with Brian, I think all of Mr. P's actions now will serve as a precursor to "evil" actions later in the novel.
Shannon I also thought that that was interesting the men are supposed to be portrayed as evil but we see Mr. P in a more motherly role with the children. I think that it is a subtle but strange idea that is coming through so early.
Jimmy, I was trying to say that even though the affair probably wasn't sexual, it was still an affair because of the emotional attachment. I am not sure Mr. Pontellier realizes that, which I think adds to the motif of ignorance.
Do you truky think though that Mr. P thinks that Mrs. P is happy? Is he not perceptive enough to see the pain she is in? Or does he just block himself off and not want to know what really is happening in his realtionship and her potential one with Robert?
Jordan-I think she cares abouther children, but not as much as other mothers might, and she probably cares about other stuffmore than her children.
I agree with brian, i think that there is nothing evil yet, but the stage is deffinatley set for the men to do something terribly evil. when they have this much power over the women, i think its kind of inevitable
What does everyone think that the smoking symbolizes if anything, and if so what might this have to do with later in the novel?
Jordan- I think that Mr P cared for the kids more than Mrs.P does. For example, when he thinks the kid has a fever, she just ignores it and doesn't seem to care.
Jordan, I think Mrs. Pontelliere does care for her children in muchthe same way our mothers care for us today. However, if we consider the time period that the book takes place in, a time when woman were essentially in charge of caring for the children, cooking, and cleaning, to Mr. Pontelliere it seems as though she isn't caring for the children.
I agree that Mr. P is supposed to be viewed as "evil," but do you think that he is supposed to symbolize males as a whole?
Jordan- I was listening to the inner circle and someone Hannah said that maybe Mrs. P just knows her children better than her husband, and that's why she gives them their space. I think it makes him nervous that she is not filling the typical stereotype for a mother. I think the only things he knows about motherhood are from what he sees in how other women treat their children.
Kayla-I don't think he's necessarily unattentive, but I also don't think that he is just ignoring her pain. I think he's mostly just too self absorbed to really care about much else.
Brian I agree. Was this just something normal back then, for women to be friends with other males? I think not! Why did her husband not realize this and start caring more? It is easy to see that an affair might be coming into play soon, but I wonder why the author makes it so blatantly obvious? Why does Chopin display the woman as a figure needed to be seen and heard and loved so much that she is driven into the arms of another man? IF this is a feminist text, then wouldn't she what to show that women are strong, and able to think and survive with just themselves?
Nathan- I don' think that Mr. P is supposed to represent all males in this story. As we see in Robert, he actually cares about what Mrs. P has to say, unlike her husband. So Robert is, so far, an okay person. Have we seen any signs of evil in Robert so far?
Nathan, I think that it is too early in the novel to really know what form of "evil" Mr. P represents and if it is just married men, or all men, and so on.
I do not think that its fair for her to have to do everything. I understand that it is the time period but I do not think that it is her job to do everthing and work everything out.
I agree with Brian. I think that this book is about a time period that had its rules and conformities, and how people started to change their ways of thinking and their lifestyles according to new found emotions.
Going off what the inner circle is talking about... Do you think that love is present in this story in any releationship?
Nate- I agree with Connor, there are two different male figures in this book that appear to be different, so I guess we'll have to wait to exactly what Mr. P represents.
I think that it is to early to determine if there is love because love may blossom or may not. And the men might change and they might not.
Does anyone else see the dichotomy of love vs. lust?
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