Obsessions Always Have Meanings Essay

Obsessions Always Have Meanings Essay

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In the stories “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, they are similar because they both deal with the wives being obsessed with something. Also in both stories their husbands are concerned and want to help them with their obsessions. The wife in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is obsessed with the wallpaper on the wall and sees it as another world. She believes that there is someone stuck behind the wall and is trying to get out. Tearing down the wall paper, she is trying to set them free. Later on in the story she then believes that she is the one trapped behind the wall paper. Not understanding her obsession with the wallpaper, her husband sees her being creepy and he faints. When her husband faints she gets scared because she no longer knows who he is. In “The Birthmark” the wife is obsessed with her birthmark and believes it means something. Her husband sees her birthmark as a burden to her and removes it himself. Liz Rosenberg talks about Aylmer by saying, “In Aylmer’s “delusion” he mistakes Georgiana’s physical imperfection for a spiritual one, and in trying to cure her of her human nature, he kills her” (146). In both stories the wives have their obsession that worries their husbands. The wives have their own way of keeping themselves entertained and happy. Never question someone and what he/she does because we are all unique and different in our own way.
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “The Birth-Mark” for newlyweds. It is a story based on women doing anything and everything just to satisfy their husbands and their needs. Liz Rosenberg writes, “‘The Birth-Mark’ is a love story like most of Hawthorne’s greatest fiction, concerned with the relation between men and women. The “love” i...


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...013. 655-666. Print.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Birth-Mark.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. 11th ed. New York: Norton, 2013. 340-351. Print.
Knight, Denise. “‘I Could Paint Still Life As Well As Any One Earth’: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the World of Art.” Women’s Studies 35.5 (2006): 475-492. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Mar. 2014
Rosenberg, Liz. “‘The Best That Earth Could Offer’: ‘The Birth-Mark,’ A Newlywed’s Story.” Studies in Short Fiction 30.2 (1993): 145. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Mar. 2014
Scott, Heidi. “Crazed Nature: Ecology in the Yellow Wall-Paper.” Explicator 67.3 (2009): 198-203. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
Shakinovsky, Lynn. “The Return of the Repressed: Illiteracy and the Death of the Narrative in Hawthorne’s ‘The Birthmark’.” ATQ 9.4 (1995): 269. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

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