Yellow Wallpaper and Story of an Hour Mini-Test

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How women with mental conditions were treated in 1890s
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Prolonged rest and isolation. Doctors assumed women got \”nervous conditions\” because they were naturally weaker than men
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John and narrator’s relationship
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Very patriarchial. John is the ruler of the house and does not treat the narrator like an adult/wife but more like a child
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How John and narrator disagree on how she should get better
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John thinks she should rest and be secluded but narrator wants to write and be active
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Why the wallpaper angers the narrator
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It has a confusing pattern and is a \”revolting\” color. She believes it goes against the pattern of design
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How narrator feels about how John has to take care of her
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She feels that she is a burden to John because it was women’s role in society to cook and clean the house and she was not able to do this
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Details of Narrator’s room
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It’s like an asylum to her. Yellow wallpaper, bed nailed down to floor, barred windows
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Who she first imagines or \”hallucinates\”
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People walking in the garden
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Why the narrator likes writing so much
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It allows her to escape her insane mind and gives her something to do
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Narrator’s behavior as a child
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She found faces and creatures in animate objects (walls, furniture) paranoia
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Jennie
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John’s sister who is also the housekeeper who hopes for a better profession – symbol of all women in that time
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Who the women in the wallpaper represents
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the Narrator trying to break free from the \”prison\” she has been put into because of her illness
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Why narrator constantly studies the wallpaper
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Because she wants to figure it out
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Why narrator is losing motive to write
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It does not give her much relief anymore and she feels alone, unable, and at a loss of hope
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Cousin Henry and Julia
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Family member who sometimes visit. Narrator tries to convince John to let her visit them but he refuses
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Narrator’s relationship to her baby
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Little to none. Narrator is not trusted around her
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John’s response when narrator tells him she wants to move because of the wallpaper
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John refuses and tells her that she is getting better and that they will leave once the rent is up
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Narrator’s attitude towards wallpaper towards the end
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She doesn’t want other people looking at it because she wants to \”solve\” it before they do.
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What happens at the end of Yellow Wallpaper
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Narrator tears down wallpaper with her hands, goes mad. John passes out in shock
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Charlotte Perkins Gilamn
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Author of the Yellow Wallpaper. Influential feminist of her time who wrote poetry and short stories but they never became very famous because they were often very dry
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The Forerunner Magazine
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Magazine Gilman published and edited
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Women and Economics (book)
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Written by Gilman to portray the situation of women in society
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How Gilman influenced other women of her time
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She was a passionate lecturer who was considered the leading intellectual in women’s movement in the US of her time
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Political meaning of the Yellow Wallpaper
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Directly confronts the sexual politics of male-female/husband-wife relationships
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Pyschopathology and Literature
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Horror story about mental aberration. Feminist document which dealt with the unpopular sexual politics
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How Gilman got The Yellow Wallpaper Published
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It was rejected several times. First to William Dean who recomended it to Editor of Atlantic Monthly (Horace Scudder), who rejected it because he disliked the destruction of main character. Story finally published in 1892 in New England magazine
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Initial public reaction to The Yellow Wallpaper
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Some praised it for the accuracy of the portrayal of women and delicacy
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Gilman’s early life
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Born in 1860 in Conneticut and grew up in Rhode Island, hard childhood.
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Gilman’s mother and father
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Her mother bore 3 children, one died, and after the 3rd was born the father abandoned the family
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Effect of parents broken marriage on Gilman
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Made her grow up without tenderness. Mother sacrified her and her daughters need for love to protect against betrayal
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How tough childhood shaped Gilman
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She became tough, developed willpower and refusing to be defeated
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Traits that characterized Gilman her personality and work
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Religious tendency and sense of duty from mother and desire to learn, willpower and need for perfection from her father
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Charles Stetson
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An artist from Rhode Island who married Gilman because she admired his artistic ability, his ideals and loneliness that was similar to her own
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Crucial decision Gilman
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Crucial decision Gilman faced after her marriage
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Marriage or a career. This was a choice many women of this time period had to make. She argued that women should be able to have a marriage as well as motherhood
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What happened to Gilman after she gave birth to her daughter
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She fell into a state of depression. She constantly felt trapped in the role assigned tot he wife in a conventional 19th century marriage. It was because of this confinement that she wrote the Yellow Wallpaper 5 years later
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Weir Mitchell
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Doctor from Philadelphia who prompted Gilman to write the Yellow Wallpaper. He had two categories of sickness: businessmen exhausted from too much work and society women exhausted from too much play.
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Weir Mitchell’s prescription for Gilman
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That she devote herself to domestic work and to her child, confine herself to at most, 2 hours of intellectual work a day and to never touch a pen, brush, or pencil for the rest of her life\”
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Effect of prescription on Gilman
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It made her much worse, she crawled into closets and hid from the grinding pressure of the profound distress
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What happened to Gilman’s marriage
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In 1887, they agreed to a divorce. When away from him, she made a trip to California where she felt healthy and recovered but when she returned she felt depressed again. She would suffer nervous breakdowns for the rest of her life
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What happened to Gilman when she moved to California
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She struggled economically as a woman living alone. She recalls the period of 1890 and 1894 as being the hardest of her life. She fought against public opinion, outright hostility as she gave lectures on socialism and freedom for women. Produced the Yellow Wallpaper in this time
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Kate Chopin childhood
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grew up in St Louis, Missouri. Father was killed in railroad accident when she was 5 years old.
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Who Kate Chopin married
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Oscar Chopin, a businessman, in 1870, they settled in New Orleans. He later died of malaria after the birth of their 6th child so Chopin had to raise their children alone and managed his business
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Moments of inspiration for Chopin
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She published her first story and poem in 1889. Over the next decade she published 2 novel, more than a hundred of short stories
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Responses to Chopin’s work
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She often wrote of women seeking to be free which often aroused protests. Severe criticism was directed at her second novel, The Awakening because of tis depiction of a woman’s adulterous affair
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Querulous
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Complaining
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Patent
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Obvious
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Perseverance
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To keep on going
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Atrocious
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Dreadful
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Undulating
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Wavy
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Imperitence
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Rudeness
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Inanimate
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Not living
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Felicity
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Happiness
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Derision
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Scorn
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Basely
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Dishonorable
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Crucial decision Gilman
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