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Yellow Wallpaper Lecture

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  • 1. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • 2.  
  • 3. The Ring Movie The yellow wallpaper has inspired many horror movies such as the “RING”
  • 4. Victorian Era
    • Queen Victoria’s reign: 1837-1901
    • characterized by strict social mores (codes & rules)
  • 5. Angel in the House
    • The popular Victorian image of the ideal wife/woman came to be "the Angel in the House," who was expected to be devoted and submissive to her husband. The Angel was passive and powerless, meek, charming, graceful, sympathetic, self-sacrificing, pious, and above all--pure. The phrase "Angel in the House" comes from the title of an immensely popular poem by Coventry Patmore, in which he holds his angel-wife up as a model for all women.
  • 6. Postpartum Depression
  • 7. What is it?
    • Postpartum depression (also postnatal depression ) is a form of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, after childbirth . It is widely considered to be treatable.
    • Studies report prevalence rates from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the actual prevalence rate unclear
  • 8. Dr. S. Weir Mitchell
  • 9. The Rest Cure
    • The rest cure was a treatment for what was deemed hysteria in women.
    • It had great popularity in the 19th century as a way to treat women with mental illnesses that might later be termed generalized anxiety disorder or major depression.
    • It might also be applied to women of the upper classes who were simply exhausted by the chores of raising children, overseeing large households, or who were suffering postpartum depression after the birth of a child.
  • 10. Neurasthenia (Nerve Exhaustion)  
    • The primary treatment was the "rest cure.“
    • This is from A Handbook of Practical Treatment edited by John H. Musser, M.D. and O. A. Kelly, M.D., published in 1912 (pages 858-873). It provides a glimpse into the medical aspects of the condition
    • “ In such cases it may be necessary to employ small doses of sedatives for a time, such as the bromids, trional, sulphonal, medinal, or veronal”.  
  • 11. Rest Method
    • "Full Rest Methods . -- When neurasthenia is pronounced, it becomes imperative, whenever practicable, to order the patient to bed and to institute a radical course of rest treatment. 
    • It is usually necessary to give close attention to the carrying out of the details lest the purpose of the treatment be defeated by some apparently trifling neglect. 
    • If rest is imperative, this rest must be made as nearly absolute as possible.  
    • The patient is instructed to lie quietly, not to sit up except for the special purpose of taking food, nor is the patient to leave the bed except for the purpose of emptying the bowels or the bladder. 
  • 12. Rest method cont…
    • "It should be home in mind that the patient should have not only physical rest, but also rest of mind, and all source of mental and emotional excitement should be avoided. 
    • With this object in view, it is necessary to cut off, or strongly to advise the patient to cut off, communication with the outside world either absolutely or in a very large degree. 
    • This necessitates the exclusion of relatives and others, as well as the interruption of all correspondence. 
    • The patient, in other words, should be isolated.
  • 13. Recovery period
    • As soon as the maximum degree of improvement has been attained, -- a period which ensues at the end of six to ten weeks or more , -- the patient should be permitted to leave the bed for a few minutes daily , say, five or ten minutes at a time. 
    • The process of getting the patient out of bed should be a very gradual one; otherwise the effort of sitting up may bring on a sense of weakness, trembling in the extremities, faintness, or giddiness.  
    • Symptoms such as these are, however, never observed in patients in whom proper care is exercised. 
    • Little by little the time is increased until the patient sits up five or six hours out of the twenty-four. 
  • 14. How it was done
    • Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell developed the rest cure.
    • He essentially imprisoned women for up to two months, and gave them little contact with the outside world.
    • In the first few weeks, women were not allowed to engage their minds by reading or performing small activities.
    • Most were even not allowed to roll over in their beds, suggesting that they may have been restrained.
    • The attempt to do brain work sooner or later brings on symptoms of exhaustion he thought.
  • 15. Symptoms of neurasthenia
    • When we turn our attention to the special senses, we find a similar interesting aggregation of symptoms.
    • As regards vision , we have first and foremost the symptoms of ready fatigue.
    • Seeing things readily divisible into primary and secondary phenomena. 
  • 16.
    • However, neurasthenic patients will often say that they cannot " hear right "; though this symptom, when investigated, proves as a rule to be psychic and not directly referable to the ear -- that is, it is due to lack of the power of sustained attention and not to any true difficulty of hearing.
    • With regard to smell the patient complaining inordinately of odors, not especially noticed by healthy persons.
  • 17. Tonics and elixirs
    • Tonics and elixirs containing opium were readily available in drugstores, and doctors commonly prescribed opiates for upper and middle class women suffering from neurasthenia and other "female problems."
  • 18. Tonics
  • 19. 19 th Century Doctors
    • Nineteenth century physicians considered the female body a delicate vessel , easily damaged by unchecked social exertion or stress.
    • In 1873, Harvard physician Edward H. Clarke wrote a widely acclaimed book, "Sex in Education, or A Fair Chance for Our Girls," which charged that education was the culprit for female sterility (as the condition was then called) by manufacturing women with "monstrous brains and puny bodies."
  • 20.
    • Clarke wrote: "The reproductive machinery , to be well made ... must be carefully managed. Force must be allowed to flow thither in an ample stream ... and not diverted to the brain by the school."
    • Health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said :"The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of child-bearing machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head."
  • 21. Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”
    • Mitchell’s advice is to “live as domestic a life as possible,” to have “but two hours intellectual life a day,” and to “never touch pen, brush or pencil again.”
  • 22. Whack-job Advice TOM CRUISE CREATED A FIRESTORM WHEN HE CRITICIZED BROOKE SHIELDS FOR REVEALING THAT SHE WENT INTO THERAPY AND TOOK ANTIDEPRESSANTS TO DEAL WITH HER POST PARTUM DEPRESSION. AS A SCIENTOLGIST, HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN PSYCHIATRIC MEDICINE.
  • 23. Dr. Cruise
    • “There's ways of vitamins and through exercise and various things.”
  • 24.
    • “I've never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry. and when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why i didn't believe in psychology”. TOM CRUISE
  • 25. Saving People
  • 26.  
  • 27. Unheimlich
    • “ everything that ought to have remain hidden but has come to light”
    • is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange
  • 28. Das Unheimlich
    • heim = home
    • home = stable, familiar, comfortable
    • unheimlich = unstable, unfamiliar, uncomfortable
  • 29.
    • “ If civilization imposes such great sacrifices not only on man’s sexuality but on his aggressivity, we can understand better why it is hard for him to be happy in that civilization. In fact, primitive man was better off in knowing no restrictions of instinct.”
    • --Sigmund Freud
  • 30.
    • “ If civilization imposes such great sacrifices not only on woman’s sexuality but on her aggressivity, we can understand better why it is hard for her to be happy in that civilization. In fact, primitive woman was better off in knowing no restrictions of instinct.”
    • --Sigmund Freud
  • 31. Narrative Structure
    • abnormal narrative
    • unheimlich quality
    • common feature of Gothic and horror films
  • 32. Unheimlich
    • “ There is something strange about the house – I can feel it.”
  • 33. Van Gogh
    • “There is a delicious garden! I never saw such a garden – large and shady, full of box-bordered paths, and lined with long grape-covered arbors with seats under them .”
  • 34. Projection
    • "People attribute their own undesirable traits onto others. An individual who unconsciously recognizes his or her aggressive tendencies may then see other people acting in an excessively aggressive way."
    • -- http://www.heretical.com/sexsci/bpsychol.html
  • 35. Patterns
    • “I fancy it’s the pattern that keeps her so still. It is so puzzling. It keeps me quite by the hour.”
  • 36. Id
    • “The division of the psyche that is totally unconscious and serves as the source instinctual impulses and demands for immediate satisfaction of primitive needs”
  • 37. Ego
    • The division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality”
  • 38. Instinct Restriction
  • 39. Repression
    • “I always lock the door when I creep by daylight. I can’t do it at night, for I know John would suspect something at once.”
    It is the psychological act of excluding desires and impulses from one's consciousness.
  • 40. Open Ended a narrative without closure is described as open-ended.
  • 41. Internal Unheimlich
    • narrators alienated from themselves
  • 42. Narrative Closure
    • based on the principle that structured works come to an end with a sense of conclusion, completion, wholeness & coherence
    • in a narrative exhibiting closure, the resolution will tie everything together and answer the central questions
    • a narrative without closure is described as open-ended.
  • 43. “ I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!”