The Yellow Wallpaper

  “’Better in body perhaps—‘  I began, and stopped short, for he [John] sat up straight and looked at me with such a stern, reproachful look that I could not say another word.”  What seems to be John’s attitude about the narrator’s condition? How does this mirror society’s attitude—both past and present—regarding mental health conditions?

In the story, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Gilman, a woman in the 1900s in dealing with depression. She blames the “sulfur” coloured wallpaper for her depression, implying it stinks, she thinks that the wallpaper is destroying her on the inside when in realityher husbands attitude is the complication. Her husband John is a physician and is trying to help her but he is only able to look at the her state objectively, she does not get the emotional aid that she needs so she writes in her journal as therapy. She must stay in a small nursery with bared window, in the story she juxtaposes the life of a prisoner and the life of a baby to her life, the room she stays in is symbolism for the fact that she is reduced to a child, when her husband doesn’t let her visit her cousin she cries, symbolizing that she is not afforded the luxury of being an adult. Her husband has his best intentions but does not approach the situation in the correct fashion, he gives her medicine and locks her in a room hoping that it will cure her depression but all she wants is John to be the loving husband he needs to be. Back then it was, we approached people with mental illness in a paternal manner where we tacked the physical aspects of mental illness instead of the inner for society views the mentally ill as lesser. Today we are more accepting of the mentally ill but we do not truly understand the state that they are in unless we have felt their illness first hand. We must understand and try to relate to those that are mentally ill if we wish to help them.

Loneliness

Loneliness is the state of being that one finds himself in when he feels alone or isolated. In most cases this is not the case, we are never truly alone but it is normal human behavior to feel this way. The lonely man may feel the way he does because of social, economical political and sometimes religious reasons. There is a multitude of reasons why one may feel lonely but there is always a salvation from this undesirable state of consciousness.

It is natural that in life a human may feel lonely. We as humans are constantly dealing with social problems that make us feel isolated. We often deal will loss, we all have loved ones, dealing with the impermanence of life is often very difficult to deal with. Stress and pressure can cause depression can strike and make us feel unwanted. We will seek company so that we may feel comfort but when we are unable to find someone to talk to loneliness will get worst. Our economical position can make us feel lonely as well. Having no money can make us feel like you have no help in life and having to much money can be like filling a hole in your heart with objects. Having a political opinion that differs from the general pubic can isolate you. Although religion is a salvation from loneliness for some, others, for example, feel isolated when they have sinned, perhaps feeling as if their god has forgotten about them. In some fundamentalist religions when a woman is raped she is ostracized from society and will never be abel to marry a respectable man. How are we to find exemption from this mental state when there are so many causes?

Loneliness is everywhere we look, it is inescapable and we will inevitably feel this emotion, but we may always find deliverance from loneliness by reaching out to others and looking within yourself, acknowledging the problem and observe your behavior is very important, look at situations objectively and understand why you are feel the way you are. From there you may tackle the situation however you want. Sometimes the situations isn’t the problem, sometimes your attitude about the situation is the problem.

What comment does Poe seem to make about mental illness?

The story The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Poe recounts the story of a man struggling with mental illness. The main character is obsessed with an old mans ”evil eye”. He says it “haunted me day and night”, he plots to murder him making us fully aware that he cannot distinguish reality from fantasy. He is fully away of his illness and is trying to convince us of his sanity. He experiences Intense paranoia and anxiety attacks, Poe is attempting to reveal that the worst enemy of a man with mental illness is his own mental state. The main character is abel to intelligently plot and stealthily execute a murder yet waves of anxiety and begin to get in his way. He spends hours slowly entering his victims chamber when suddenly his heart beat grows faster and faster he thinks the old man is watching him and that the old mans heart beat is his own. He says “the beating grew louder” and that “anxiety seized me”, he becomes less stealthy yet is capable of executing the murder in a much more reckless fashion. “He shrieked once” and police come to investigate saying neighbors heard screams. The main character remains calm and is easily capable of convincing the police that there was no murder yet when the police are calmy laughing and enjoying a cup of tea an idea takes over the mind of the protagonist. He thinks that the police know of the murder and are simply making fun of him by being there. Because of his mental illness he cannot look at the situation objectively and he starts to crazy! The story was given the same The Tell-Tall heart because it is his heart that gives him out to the police. His heart rate represents his mental illnesses growing stronger, at the end his heart rate grew faster and his mind spiraled into a world of paranoia causing him to confess to the murder.

The relation ship between the man and the Universe

The poem by Stephen Crane a Man has a conversation with the Universe. The man tells the universe that he is conscious and that he exists, he is trying to say that he is important to the universe. Man is so proud of himself, he can create technologies, contemplate the nature of consciousness, at one point he thought he was the center of the Universe. The Universe responds by saying “the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation”. Universe is saying “so what? what do you want me to do it?”. The man may begin to realize that he is not as important as he thinks. He realizes that if his species seized to exist or if it died out in the most tragic of ways, it would not matter to the universe, why wouldn’t it matter? because to the Universe it would be nature taking its course.

The pale blue dot

Every human who has ever existed has lived on a pale blue dot floating around in the cosmos. We are but a species “on a mote of suspended in a sunbeam”. We think we are the center, that what we think and feel is important, but in the grand scheme of things the corrupt politicians, your break up, the failing economy etc. are all insignificant in comparison to the vast universe we inhabit. Our problems seem important to us because we are to distracted by our problems, the bills we have to pay, that girl not liking you back, the feeling of loneliness and helplessness but if one sits back and looks our into the vast night sky populated by fire giants we realize that our problems mean nothing to the great infinite. To the universe it is only nature running its course. The pale blue dot is the only thing we have ever known so it is in our human behavior to be fixed on the problems going on around us, but to the for ever expanding infinite, they mean nothing.

I sit and look out…

Aside

The school system has me locked in. What choice do I have but to sit and look out quietly to my boring teachers as they feed me useless information. All the educational system has taught me is that to learn information, I’m going to have to hate it as well. Why can’t learning be fun? When am I going to apply the Pythagoras thorium or the scientific method? Why do schools have to oppress their students? I am disappointed in the way our country chooses to educate its future.

First of all, learning is great and fun, educating yourself on subjects that you find fascinating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. This is where the school system fails. We are told that if we sit down, shut up and study the mind numbing materials we are given, then we shall be successful in life. This simply scares kids and makes them anxious for the future; further more they think that the only way to learn in to be bored out of their minds. When a kid sits in class he is likely to be thinking about having laughs with his friends or playing a video game. Why? Because they are fun! People play basketball not to be successful, but because hitting that three-pointer feels good. If schools Just taught useful life skills and then allowed kids to make decisions on what they learn then the attitude of students would be very different.

Where is the disinterest of kids more apparent than in math class. When in a child in his lifetime going to put the Pythagoras thorium to use? When is he going to need to find the value of X? I think most students would agree that math class teaches you nothing in terms of life skills and furthermore in a waste of time. Math will not aide you in social aspects of life, and will not aide you in difficult situations. It will however allow you mind to ponder how the class is an utter failure. Does it make sense to cram 10 math equations into your head and drop them after test day? Will determining the value of X make you more qualified for a job?

School suppresses its students by taking away 6 hour of their day and they invading what little free time they have with homework, which has been proven useless by research done by doctor Walker. School also suppresses creative and independent thoughts, if you disagree with the teacher, you’re in trouble. If you dare to think of a new way to do something, it’s automatically wrong. In many classes I’m am afraid to participate out of fear of being wrong, schools should reward kids for being wrong as being wrong allows us grow and learn from our mistakes. Yet we run educations systems telling kids that mistakes are the worst things you can make, as a result kids are being educated out of their creative capacities. Without mistakes science would never advance and humanity and technology would not move forward, kids in school today are the future of humanity and technology.

Kids today are completely bored in class and if the Educational system has a lot to think about if they care about their countries. If we remove useless classes, allow kids to peruse their passions, thus making learning fun and stop suppressing students, then our country will see that its greatest resource is its children.

Who is to blame for the tragedy in Frankenstein?

In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, a doctor creates a being composed of the rotting corpses from a grave. He is so horrified of his creation he runs away. The monster murders his whole family for abandoning him. Who is responsible for this tragedy? Was it society for ostracising him? Was it Doctor Frankenstein for abandoning his creation and not taking responsibility for his actions? Or was it the monster? After all he is Frankenstein’s tragic flaw. Meditating on this question we come to the conclusion that doctor Frankenstein and society are to blame for this tragedy, he was not love or nurtured and they had a prejudice against the hideous disfigured monster.

The monster said that he is “Naturally good”. I believe there is no such thing as human nature, there is human behavior, which is composed of the environment we are nurtured in. The monster was forced to grow up alone without human interaction. He learned how live by lurking in the shadows and spying on humans but every time he makes contact with people they had a complete disregard for ethics and where not capable of seeing past his hideous face to see the human. The monster wants to help people and connect to people but that is impossible for his creator Frankenstein made him to be so grotesque. Frankenstein is also to blame. He desecrated the bodies of those who died and even when his family was being murdered he didn’t take responsibility for his actions, he didn’t warn his family and tried to take on his problems by himself which was a selfish decision and resulted a tragedy. Frankenstein didn’t even give the monster a name, symbolising that he had no interest in raising the monster and that the monster meant nothing to him. Perhaps if Frankenstein had stayed and nurtured his creation, if he taught him moral values, the monster would not have sought revenge.

Humans are a product of the environment they grow up in, society treated the monster as less and where not capable of accepting him. Even his creator had no interest in raising him or teaching him of morality and this resulted in the death of his family.