The Reality Of Modeling Romantic Relationships Essay

The Reality Of Modeling Romantic Relationships Essay

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Gilman and Stinson illustrate the reality of modeling romantic relationships off the way we were taught to love to demonstrate the idea that we accept the love we think we deserve. The Yellow Wallpaper’s author and narrator, Charlotte, has learned to love in a way that she accepts any love from her husband, John. She is always questioning her own mental illness, because of how much her physician husband downplays it. He diagnoses her with “temporary nervous depression” (Gilman 648) and she agrees with defeat by asking “what is one to do?” (648). Charlotte even says one “expects that” (647) when justifying her husband laughter towards her mental instability. Similarly, in the poem Daddy, we see how a woman who has learned to love from her Hitler-like father, modeling her new love after him. Plath says “they stuck me together with glue” (Plath 62) and “I knew what to do, I made a model out of you” (63-64) showing how finding another man that resembled her father was an attempt to “glue” her back together. This depression of power of women by men is reflected into a woman’ future relationships.
The man in The Yellow Wallpaper reduces Charlottes power through making her believe “he knows there is no reason to suffer [which] satisfies him” (649). This brainwashing brings an already helpless woman to a point of lesser power. The Yellow Wallpaper’s woman creeping behind the wall is reflective of Charlotte’s mental state that she was put in through his neglect. Her constant repetition of “what can one do?” shows that she is powerless in this relationship, mainly because of her gender. Secondly, because of her mental state. She even inflates her own faults by admitting “I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I’m sure I never used...


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...ul and redeeming moment, he still continues to diminish her power.
This model we see of men taking advantage of women and reducing their power is reflective of todays society. Growing comfortable to a toxic love is something we see in modern day relationships and reveals how much parents can influence their child’s love life. Parents have a large influence on our lives, and the way they love each other and their children is reflected onto the way their children will love others. Plath is a perfect example of how a tarnished relationship with your father can affect your future relationships, while Gilman demonstrates how much a toxic relationship can affect your own thinking. Both texts, although written over 70-120 years ago, still hold the same value in modern day, and teach us that we need to reflect on the way we are being loved, before we can love someone else.

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