As usual the PNC website has the price index for the 12 days of Christmas. This year they are doing a giveaway when you link to the site. Interesting that this year the index has risen 7.7 percent. There is again a link for educators that has some great lessons for teachers. Enjoy!
The thing I found interesting is that it is almost $30,000 for 1 iteration of the items of the list, but the true cost is $114,651.18 if you bought the gifts each repetition of the song.
I was born in 1959, Nelson Mandela was well along the way to changing South Africa and the world. He was in the midst of “the cause” and the Treason trial. I grew up, but not a lot was taught about South Africa and Nelson Mandela in my classes at school. I didn’t pay much attention to Nelson Mandela or South Africa until the 1990’s.
Fast forward to tonight. My wife and I are watching the Nelson Mandela tribute on ABC. Our 8 year old daughter gets out of bed to ask if she can sit and watch for a few minutes. I asked her, “do you know who this man is?” She said “yes, Nelson Mandela.” She has studied or discussed Nelson Mandela in school. She wanted to see more, learn more, which is a tribute to what she had learned in school and the man.
You see, it’s the man that makes the visionary. He is a man whose morals and beliefs made him one of the great visonaries and leaders of any time. He is a man that we should be thankful was willing to stand up in the face of death and fight for what he thought was right. He had a great spirit, a great way about himself that made us all feel his presence, to understand his message.
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
What is wrong with us as a society? Why do we fuel the retail stores encroachment on Thanksgiving? This has always been a family event, a day of rest, food, fun and football. It has been about cooking for days, getting together having time together. It has never until recently been about getting the best deal on Thanksgiving at Sports Authority or Macy’s.
When I was younger I worked for McDonalds for 14 years. When Ray Kroc was alive McDonalds was closed two days a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not anymore, they are open both days, interrupting family and it makes me ashamed that I worked for them. All of this bleed through into the holiday of working and of shopping I believe shows us the reason we see a lot less caring for each other as a society. We have forgotten what it’s all about: Family
We watch football, we eat, we sit around, we take naps and eat some more. We get together with family we maybe haven’t seen in a year or maybe more. It’s about family and being part of a family. The love, the caring about each other, not going out to get a deal on a TV before Black Friday.
Think about it the next time you are cut off in traffic, someone is rude to you in a store or a help desk employee isn’t very helpful. We have forgotten about family, how to be nice to each other, how to just be with each other and c are about each other.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!
It has been a long time since I wrote on this blog. The year has been extremely busy and full for me that I have not had the time to write at all. The few posts I did write were about the last class I needed for my college degree. So, let’s look at the last 6 months to see what I have been doing.
In May I started college, or should I say started AGAIN. I have been going to college off and on since I was 16. Unfortunately, the strictness of my father during my k-12 experience led me to “have fun” through my first 4 years of taking courses that I actually wasn’t learning anything or passing many courses. Believe it or not, I was only 4 courses from finishing my degree in the late 1990’s.
That leads me to May, when our IT department reorganized and the position that I had held for the previous three years was removed, a new one was defined and I did not qualify based on needing at least an AA degree. That is when I decided that I either went backwards or got the degree to go forward. When I got my degree in August I was able to apply for the position that was still open and was the most qualified person. I will write more on this in another post sooner rather than later.
During the summer I ran a high school for 6 weeks which is the school with the biggest computer, student and staff population. A lot goes into getting a school wrapped up and prepared for the next school year, which meant a lot of hours 6am – 4pm most days, then going to my second job or school from 6-11pm. It was get up, work, go home for an hour and go to work.
Since August 20th I have been in my new role as an Instructional Technology Technician (ITT), which is really not an accurate title for what I do. I basically am a systems admin and support for the student LMS, support for the Instructional Specialist that are the lead admins and support for all the instructional tools we use in our district to teach the students. I also help with another ITT, set up Dev sites, run technical aspects of projects like MDM, the testing, deployment and initial training of new programs/devices such as Surface RT’s and Tablets.
During the initial starting of the new job I also ran the high school until there was a replacement and still to this day answer questions and help as needed to help the students at that school. My current job is with all the students, teachers and administrators of the district, but I always help wherever I am needed at the behest of my boss.
I am in the middle of two extremely important projects right now and I am very happy with what I am doing. I will be writing more often in the near future, breaking down my summer journey and new exploits.
Yesterday I took my final exam for my literature course, Short Story. It was two hours of writing, answering short answer to identify authors and stories, and two other sections of short and long essay. While studying I was a little concerned about the volume of work we had read in the last 5 weeks. On the other hand I thought to myself that I had read the stories, I knew the themes, the idea’s that the professor wanted us to learn. That got me through, I was able to feel relaxed as I started the exam and finished strong,
With that I had only one thing left to do, which was turn in the final draft of my research paper. We were allowed to pick a topic on something that we chose from the things we had learned about literature during the course. I chose to do a literary analysis on The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and what I thought her meaning behind the story and it’s symbols were. Here below is the work that I produced. I re-read it many times and am very happy with it. I wanted to share it with all of you.
Professor Jacqueline Smith
28 July 2013
The Yellow Wallpaper: A Women’s story of Oppression and Feminism in the late 1800’s
The short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman has been debated by many scholars. They have described it as an isolated work, an autobiography, fantasy, feminism, colonialism, and a revolt by the author from the male dominated doctors and men in her life and of the time period. One scholar has even related the feminism aspect with a feline cat during one scene within the story (Golden 1). As I read the story I was originally attracted to the unreliable narrator, with her being crazy tell a story from her imagination. But, as I looked further I could see that there were a lot of aspects that represent feminism and Ms. Gilman’s feelings of repression by her husband and doctors. What I intend to argue in this essay is that Ms. Gilman was conveying those attitudes of feminism and repression in the story The Yellow Wallpaper.
In the beginning paragraph of The Yellow Wallpaper the author is a describing the new summer house that she and her husband have rented. She calls it “a colonial mansion, a hereditary estate” (Bausch 302) which is a reference to the time period of the late 1800’s. During this time period it is a well-known fact that women were subservient to their husbands and to men in general. This inference along with the continuing dialog that “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that.” (Bausch 302) is a direct reference to her feeling of repression by her husband and men of the times. An essay by Samaine J. Lockwood “Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Colonial Revival.” also represents these feelings. This is especially true when she expresses that the colonial references describe the time period as a time when women were being prohibited from joining the mainstream progressive nation (Lockwood 3). This shows another reference to how women were being repressed and how Ms. Gilman was portraying the colonial mansion and era as repressive.
Mahinur Aksehir, in her essay “Reading The Yellow Wallpaper” describes this era “that nineteenth century women of the middle class were… isolated, lonely and consequently depressed” (2). At the same time Aksehir also states that “the model of the prefect woman” (2) essentially subjected a woman, “robbed them of essential human qualities and depersonalized them” (2). Just from the first few paragraphs it can be seen how Ms. Gilman is stating that this is the way it is for her and other women in this time period and she doesn’t like it.
Along with this different symbols or themes can be seen within the story, such as her husband John wanting her to rest more and eat more was his imposition of the male dominated standard for women of that time period. The character tells us that her husband is a physician, and “You see, he does not believe I am Sick! And what can one do?” (Bausch 302). She later in the next paragraph tells us that her husband assures friends, and others that her problem is just a temporary depression. She wonders “what is one to do?” (Bausch 302), which is the authors attempt to show us that women are not to argue, not to question their husbands or male authority figures.
In fact, supporting this thought Diana Martin in her paper “Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Yellow Wallpaper”” writes that Gilman under the name Mrs. Stetson underwent a famous rest cure and Gilman describes the Dr. that treated her as “well-meaning but insensitive husband” (1) in The Yellow Wallpaper. In another paper, “Managing Madness in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper”, about Ms. Gilman’s real life rest cure Beverly A. Hume describes this as an “indictment of wise men treating mad women” (1). Ms. Gilman was under extreme pressure during her stay with Dr. Mitchell to follow the rest cure and she even mentions Dr. Mitchell in story “he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall.” (Bausch 306). In the next sentence she actually talks about Dr. Mitchell being worse than her husband, whom Ms. Martin in her paper describes as enforced isolation and that Ms. Gilman even sent a copy of the “damning story” (1) in case Weir Mitchell had missed it. That to me is one of the most compelling reasons that Ms. Gilman was trying to show that she was being oppressed as a women, not being given her freedom of choice to help decide her well-being.
As the story progresses the character sees another woman in the yellow wallpaper which is a representation of being trapped, along with the pattern (bars) that she sees within. “It is like a woman, stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern.” (Bausch 308), which as Ms. Lockwood states in her paper is like “woman/women that are trapped in this oppression of colonial times” (17). The yellow wallpaper has been stripped at the same height as the narrator, which Ms. Lockwood interestingly states is a representation of repression by other women (18). Many of these references lead to old ways of thinking by men toward women. The yellow paper and the woman the narrator sees in it are to me Ms. Gilman’s need to come out from a feminist point of view in this story.
One of the interesting aspects of The Yellow Wallpaper that is rarely mentioned in any scholarly reviews is that Ms. Gilman is relating the story as if the narrator is a feline or cat marking her territory in response to male oppression. There are passages where the main character is walking around or creeping to remove the wallpaper. Catherine J. Golden in her peer reviewed article “Marking Her Territory: Feline Behavior In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” talks about this as cat like behavior, marking her territory, and gaining dominance in a male dominated society (16). It makes sense that we are being led by the narration of the character that they are crazy and just falling further into their own mind. This thought is discussed by Dr. Asha Nadkarni in her paper “Reproducing Feminism in Jasmine And “The Yellow Wallpaper.”.” She points out that it is her ability to free the woman within the wallpaper from repression by her fall into complete madness by the end of the story (219).
But, looking further at this, Ms. Gilman is making the reader see that she is trying to represent that she has been repressed because she is a woman that doesn’t know what is best for her, not because she had post-partum depression that should have been treated differently. The imagery of the feline continual tearing of the wallpaper, creeping around the room, looking at all aspects of the wallpaper is a complete marking of her territory and a show of dominance to the male dominated society.
In closing, when reading the The Yellow Wallpaper, the unreliable narrator is an apparent literary tool that that author has used. But delving further into the authors history and the different symbols and imagery the feminist point of view stands out as an overwhelming theme. The actual repression of females in the colonial time period that the story is set is one symbol that Ms. Gilman used by describing her stay in a colonial mansion. She is describing while setting up the story to follow the well know aspects of the colonial times and male dominated society. As she progresses through the beginning of the book she describes her husband doctor, who doesn’t think she is sick, but she is at a loss to tell him otherwise, which reinforces the male oppression of the times. It also represents that there is supposed to be a perfect woman that has babies and takes care of the household. Later in the work she describes how she is being forced into a cure for what ails her by her doctor/husband. She is even threatened by her husband with an actual real life reference to the doctor that she saw for her own post-partum depression. These doctors were oppressive, wise men, telling crazy women what to do, another male repression of women of the time period as related by Ms. Gilman through her story.
The wallpaper, the old yellow color, the woman in the wallpaper and the patterns sometimes bars at night (Bausch 309), all represent the repression, especially the woman that the narrator sees within the wallpaper. She is the representation of all women oppressed and specifically the author’s repression at the hands of those wise male doctors. As she progresses to the end of the story she falls into the depths of depression which in the telling of the story sets up what I found interesting in the feline marking of her territory. This is Ms. Gilman’s imagery of dominance or the rights of women of the time against male oppression.
Overall, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is more than a work by an unreliable narrator that is crazy. It is a story that relates the oppression of women and is a statement of feminist in the colonial times that it was written.
Aksehir, Mahinur. “Reading “The Yellow Wallpaper” As Post-Traumatic Writing/”The Yellow Wallpaper” Adh Oykunun Travma-Sonrasi Anlati Olarak Okunmasi.” Interactions 17 (2008): 1+. Print.
Bausch, Richard. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction: Shorter Edition. Vol. 7th Ed. New York: Norton, 2006. Print.
Golden, Catherine J. “Marking Her Territory: Feline Behavior In “The Yellow Wall-Paper”.” American Literary Realism 40 (2007): 16+. Print.
Hume, Beverly A. “Managing Madness in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper”.” Studies in American Fiction 30 (2002): 3+. Print.
Lockwood, J. Samaine. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Colonial Revival.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 29 (2012): 86+. Print.
Martin, Diana. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman And “The Yellow Wallpaper”.” The American Journal of Psychiatry 164.5 (2007): 736. Print.
Nadkarni, Asha. “Reproducing Feminism in Jasmine And “The Yellow Wallpaper.”.” Feminist Studies 38.1 (2012): 218. Print.
Treichler, Paula A. “The Wall Behind the Yellow Wallpaper: Response to Carol Neely and Karen Ford.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 4.2 (1985): 323-30. Print.
Tomorrow morning is the final exam for my literature class. I will be staying up late to do some extra studying, but I feel I know the work pretty well. I test is completely written, so there is no guessing. If you have read the works from class assignments, participated in the online discussions and read the supplemental work then review is all that is needed.
I am looking forward to not having to juggle my two jobs and a college course after this weekend. It has been a long 12 weeks with three courses the first six and one the second six. I have not slept much during these twelve weeks, but it is all worth it in the end. I will be receiving my A.A. degree at 53 years old, something I should have done 35 years ago when I was at East Carolina University. I had many opportunities to get a degree and just didn’t finish. I am finishing this time, for me, for my family.
It has been a long time since I posted her at Education and Technology. Some of the reasons? Working two jobs, one full time in the school system 37.5 hours a week and one at Lowes Home Improvement 25-35 hours a week. At the same time for the last 6 weeks I have been taking 12 hours, or four courses to finish my college degree. That gives me exactly zero days off from both jobs or school for the last six weeks and only weekends before that. The weekends have been taken up by time with my 3 kids and wife. So, as you can see writing for this blog has not been my number one priority.
Since my last course in the process of getting my education is a literature course in short story, I thought that I would share with you my first essay, which is a literary analysis of symbolism in two short stories. I hope you enjoy it.
11 July 2013
Symbolism in The Story of an Hour and Hills Like White Elephants
In the two short stories, The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin and Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway the use of symbols is a integral part of each story that leads the reader from beginning to an understandable ending. The Dr. Fitch of the College of DuPage states that “A symbol is an object or event that, by virtue of association, represents something more or something other than itself.” (Fitch, “The Literary Apprentice”) The symbolism in both stories is used to illustrate a woman’s feelings of oppression by her male counterparts. This essay intends to show this use of symbolism by these authors to emphasize the oppression of the main female characters.
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin starts with a wife of faint heart that her friends are trying to softly tell her that her husband has been killed in” a railroad disaster” (Bausch 123). The symbol of this story occurs with an open window when Mrs. Mallard learns of her husband’s death. The scene outside the open window is described as “all aquiver with spring life” (Bausch 123). This symbolizes Mrs. Mallard’s feelings that she has new life. She has been released from a burden of her husband’s oppression and will. It is like a person who has not been able to make their own decisions for a long time, but is now set free to do as they please. The wave of emotion, the feeling of knowing that they can do anything they now wish without fear of oppression from her husband is expressed in the open window in another passage where Mrs. Mallard says under her breath “free, free, free!” (Bausch 124). Everything leading up to those words points to the oppression Mrs. Mallard felt and freedom that the open window symbolizes. The reader hears of the “delicious breath of rain”, “the distant song” someone was singing and the “sparrows that were twittering” (Bausch 123).
The open window comes crashing into the forefront at the close of the story as Mrs. Mallard was thinking of all the wonderful things she could now do. As she goes downstairs with her sister happy and joyful, she then sees Mr. Mallard walk in the front door alive. With a “piercing cry” (Bausch 125) Mrs., Mallard dies. With her goes the freedom of the open windows symbolism. The oppression of her husband has returned and the open windows symbolism has died in an instant.
As with “The Story of an Hour”, the “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway uses symbolism to enhance the depiction of an oppressed woman and, in the end, that symbol is crushed by the males oppression of the female. The story is set in Spain, with the two main characters being a woman and her male lover.
The title of this story includes the symbol of the female’s oppression, which are the hills when she says “They look like white elephants” (Bausch 336). As the narrative banters back and forth between the characters it can be seen that the white elephant is a reference to her pregnancy. The symbolism is brought into light as the story progresses that the woman is pregnant and is in a struggle of her want to control her body and her male American lovers want to oppress her, to control her and her decision about her body. In this time period a woman was not to argue with a man and the thought of a bastard child was unthinkable to a man. While the white elephant is meant to show the oppression of a woman’s will, it also shows the oppression of women during the historical period that the story was written.
The white elephant is the decision to keep a life or abort a life. It is an enormous one that this story is trying to illustrate. The conversation between the two main characters focuses on the male trying to convince the woman to give up the baby, while she all along feels that he is trying to press his will on her. She has come to the rail station to go satisfy her lovers demanding oppression to have an abortion. He demeans her with his comment “That was Bright” (Bausch 336) to her point that she was trying to talk about the hills and comparing them to a white elephant. Just following this, her will begins to break as she changes the overall symbol in an effort to play into his favor to get a concession to her situation and her want to keep the child by saying “the hills really don’t look like white elephants” (Bausch 337).
As they continue from this point you can see the symbolism of the oppression become harder and more pronounced because of her degrading her own symbolism. The American sees this and takes advantage of it telling her that her “I’ll stay with you all the time” and “We’ll be fine afterwards” (Bausch 337). But the fight between them just comes right back as the couple spar back and forth while drinking. As he continues to force his will by making her feel that he cares for what she wants, her thoughts, her will and that he loves her you can feel that her will is broken; she wants him to love her.
In the end the oppression that the white elephant represents becomes extremely obvious when she asks that if after she has relented, will he like it when she says “things are like white elephants?” (Bausch 337). She has rationalized his oppression that he wants what is best for her. The white elephant as a symbol of the oppression of her will is confirmed as she gives up and submits to her American lovers will. She shuts down with the thought “Please, please…stop talking” (Bausch 338). She has lost; the white elephant of oppression has won. She just wants to get it over with.
In both stories a symbol is used to relate the oppression of a woman by a male, whether it be the woman’s husband in The Story of an Hour or her lover in Hills Like White Elephants. The first story uses the symbol of an open window to show the freedom, the happiness and joy the main character feels when she hears that her husband is dead. It is the opposite reaction to oppression, which is expressed in this symbol to show how oppressed Mrs. Mallard was. On the other hand the second story uses the symbol of a white elephant to show a males oppression of a woman’s will in one of the most important decisions she ever has to make. It shows that while a woman has a voice, she is oppressed by male influenced views of the time period. Both stories use a strong symbol to relate a very important view of male oppression toward women in different ways with different topics.
Fitch, Dr. Frances. “Symbols, Allegory, Archetype.” The Literary Apprentice. College of DuPage 2000. Web. July 3rd 2013.
Bausch, Richard. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction: Shorter Edition. Vol. 7th Ed. New York: Norton, 2006. Print.