Coursework: The Yellow wallpaper & The Bell Jar ! Watch

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Hi there,
I am doing my English literature coursework on the yellow wallpaper and the bell jar.
My questions surrounds female emotions within both.

Has anyone read either book?
Any interpretations ?
Tips?
Tips regarding both novels ?
Tips regarding course work in general?

Thanks
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LiyoS
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I've studied both of these as an undergraduate.

Not sure what you mean by "tips regarding both novels". My tip is to read both novels closely, and take notes. This process will enable you to make some connections between the two, and will allow you to write a tighter thesis statement. "Female emotions" is a bit loose. Every female character in literature (however two dimensional she may be) will exhibit some emotion.

So what exactly are you wanting to look at here? Is it a study of the "nervous breakdown"? Or, are you more interested in the way that society denied women autonomy and how this had a bearing on their mental health? Remember, the Plath novel is highly autobiographical, so that might be another dimension you want to explore.

Depending on what you are interested in, there may be other novels that are more suitable to your purpose, off the top of my head, if you are interested in exploring how mental health has been depicted in terms of institutionalising people, 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest" versus "girl, interrupted" might be an interesting comparison. A different angle might be the very introspective "yellow wallpaper" versus the more performative "disturbing the peace" (Richard Yates).
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(Original post by LiyoS)
I've studied both of these as an undergraduate.

Not sure what you mean by "tips regarding both novels". My tip is to read both novels closely, and take notes. This process will enable you to make some connections between the two, and will allow you to write a tighter thesis statement. "Female emotions" is a bit loose. Every female character in literature (however two dimensional she may be) will exhibit some emotion.

So what exactly are you wanting to look at here? Is it a study of the "nervous breakdown"? Or, are you more interested in the way that society denied women autonomy and how this had a bearing on their mental health? Remember, the Plath novel is highly autobiographical, so that might be another dimension you want to explore.

Depending on what you are interested in, there may be other novels that are more suitable to your purpose, off the top of my head, if you are interested in exploring how mental health has been depicted in terms of institutionalising people, 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest" versus "girl, interrupted" might be an interesting comparison. A different angle might be the very introspective "yellow wallpaper" versus the more performative "disturbing the peace" (Richard Yates).
Thank you!
I am doing the bell jar and the yellow wallpaper
Female emotion is my title question
Then we have to pick 3 key areas within that to explore in detail
The examples above are great thank you
What 3 key areas could I explore for these two texts within female emotion?
I want to get the highest marks in this course work! Thanks
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(Original post by LiyoS)
I've studied both of these as an undergraduate.

Not sure what you mean by "tips regarding both novels". My tip is to read both novels closely, and take notes. This process will enable you to make some connections between the two, and will allow you to write a tighter thesis statement. "Female emotions" is a bit loose. Every female character in literature (however two dimensional she may be) will exhibit some emotion.

So what exactly are you wanting to look at here? Is it a study of the "nervous breakdown"? Or, are you more interested in the way that society denied women autonomy and how this had a bearing on their mental health? Remember, the Plath novel is highly autobiographical, so that might be another dimension you want to explore.

Depending on what you are interested in, there may be other novels that are more suitable to your purpose, off the top of my head, if you are interested in exploring how mental health has been depicted in terms of institutionalising people, 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest" versus "girl, interrupted" might be an interesting comparison. A different angle might be the very introspective "yellow wallpaper" versus the more performative "disturbing the peace" (Richard Yates).
So women's emotions is my overall title
Then I would pick 3 key areas within that such as the way women are presented to be positive or negative egg
What key areas do you think i could look at?
Thanks
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(Original post by LiyoS)
I've studied both of these as an undergraduate.

Not sure what you mean by "tips regarding both novels". My tip is to read both novels closely, and take notes. This process will enable you to make some connections between the two, and will allow you to write a tighter thesis statement. "Female emotions" is a bit loose. Every female character in literature (however two dimensional she may be) will exhibit some emotion.

So what exactly are you wanting to look at here? Is it a study of the "nervous breakdown"? Or, are you more interested in the way that society denied women autonomy and how this had a bearing on their mental health? Remember, the Plath novel is highly autobiographical, so that might be another dimension you want to explore.

Depending on what you are interested in, there may be other novels that are more suitable to your purpose, off the top of my head, if you are interested in exploring how mental health has been depicted in terms of institutionalising people, 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest" versus "girl, interrupted" might be an interesting comparison. A different angle might be the very introspective "yellow wallpaper" versus the more performative "disturbing the peace" (Richard Yates).
With Yates' disturbing the peace there is not much online in terms of analysis and literary articles or criticism but I am really drawn to doing it as it sounds much more interesting than the bell jar.
.... What do you think about this ?

Thanks
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I was thinking of doing 'The Yellow wallpaper' & 'We need to talk about Kevin (WNTTAK)

Both books/protagonists have many similarities or differences that can he talked about:

- Both explore psychosis
- Both mention children or separation/distance from children
- It could be argued that just as the protagonist in the yellow wallpaper that the protagonist/mother in WNTTAK is being used mentally by her husband who is hindering her mental state even more
- Both write letters / hide things from husbands

I don't mind doing the bell jar but just wanted a change and was wondering if this was in fact a good idea?
Thanks
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(Original post by Ariel2611)
I was thinking of doing 'The Yellow wallpaper' & 'We need to talk about Kevin (WNTTAK)

Both books/protagonists have many similarities or differences that can he talked about:

- Both explore psychosis
- Both mention children or separation/distance from children
- It could be argued that just as the protagonist in the yellow wallpaper that the protagonist/mother in WNTTAK is being used mentally by her husband who is hindering her mental state even more
- Both write letters / hide things from husbands

I don't mind doing the bell jar but just wanted a change and was wondering if this was in fact a good idea?
Thanks
I'd obviously have to change my thesis to psychosis and how it is explored.
I could also talk about the different ways each writer (Gilman from Yellow Wallpaper & Shriver from we need to talk about kevin) ..

...both same genders but explore characters differently ... explore relationship with children and how they both are as mothers
... how they are from different time periods (post 1900) and what happened at them times and how this changes both writers novels

Is this a good idea? To do we need to talk about Kevin and the yellow wallpaper
They are not both have a lot of similarities and even differences that can be used and explored on the coursework

What do you all think?

Thanks
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LiyoS
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Ok, some things just to be aware of:

(a) if you want to do a paper on what you are terming "psychosis" - how much do you actually know about psychology, because you will need to know something of this in order to talk about the subject with authority. You will need to be aware of broad theory and be able to cite secondary sources - be it Freud or Jung.
Using a pathological term like "psychosis" leads you into the terrain of a different discipline, so just to be aware - because you are assessed on your understanding of the primary texts and you may find yourself doing a lot of reading up on what constitutes "psychosis" (which in itself is highly contested).

(b) If I recall correctly, "we need to talk about Kevin" is written in the first person, from the point of view of the killer's mother. So you have a female narrator. I think this is true of "the yellow wallpaper" also. Maybe your confusion is around the author's name? Lionel Shriver is actually a woman.

(c) From what I remember of the Shriver novel, it is really an account of parenthood and the struggles of bringing up a child when the mother/child bond is absent. So it is tricky to see how you'd be able to spend much time analysing it in relation to "psychosis". We learn more about the mother's state of mind than the killer's.

If you are interested in the novel though, there are other novels that deal with the subject of school shooting, which are comparable. Douglas Coupland to name but one writer, also DBC Pierre.

You are quite right to think carefully about this stuff before you start. A friend of mine committed to writing her PhD thesis about "troubled men living in the suburbs" and two years in had to abandon the project and start again because it did not have legs. So yes, take some time in choosing the right texts and the right subject
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(Original post by LiyoS)
Ok, some things just to be aware of:

(a) if you want to do a paper on what you are terming "psychosis" - how much do you actually know about psychology, because you will need to know something of this in order to talk about the subject with authority. You will need to be aware of broad theory and be able to cite secondary sources - be it Freud or Jung.
Using a pathological term like "psychosis" leads you into the terrain of a different discipline, so just to be aware - because you are assessed on your understanding of the primary texts and you may find yourself doing a lot of reading up on what constitutes "psychosis" (which in itself is highly contested).

(b) If I recall correctly, "we need to talk about Kevin" is written in the first person, from the point of view of the killer's mother. So you have a female narrator. I think this is true of "the yellow wallpaper" also. Maybe your confusion is around the author's name? Lionel Shriver is actually a woman.

(c) From what I remember of the Shriver novel, it is really an account of parenthood and the struggles of bringing up a child when the mother/child bond is absent. So it is tricky to see how you'd be able to spend much time analysing it in relation to "psychosis". We learn more about the mother's state of mind than the killer's.

If you are interested in the novel though, there are other novels that deal with the subject of school shooting, which are comparable. Douglas Coupland to name but one writer, also DBC Pierre.

You are quite right to think carefully about this stuff before you start. A friend of mine committed to writing her PhD thesis about "troubled men living in the suburbs" and two years in had to abandon the project and start again because it did not have legs. So yes, take some time in choosing the right texts and the right subject

Thank you so much!
Oh okay shirver is a lady and your right the Kevin novel is written from the mother's perspective and your also right about the term psychosis! Thank you!

What other theme could I create my question on? If I was to compare the yellow wallpaper with the Kevin novel I mean...

The fact that both are from wkemns perspective is even better in terms of comparison

I was very confused so thank you for explaining!

What question or theme could I look at when doing both the yellow wallpaper and the Kevin novel?

Do you think it would be a good idea to do these two novels...

Thanks
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LiyoS
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Don't worry about it - it is deeply confusing - Lionel Shriver (woman), Evelyn Waugh (man). There are many more...

I think you are setting yourself a difficult task in terms of comparisons - you'd be struggling to make links between the two.

Why not try and write a list of the themes you are interested in writing about - whatever these might be. Don't think about books, just think about writing a list of what really interests you. send me your thoughts, and we'll find some good texts that will allow you to explore these themes. It is easier doing it that way than picking two books and trying to make connections that don't exist. Let me know how you get on.
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(Original post by LiyoS)
Don't worry about it - it is deeply confusing - Lionel Shriver (woman), Evelyn Waugh (man). There are many more...

I think you are setting yourself a difficult task in terms of comparisons - you'd be struggling to make links between the two.

Why not try and write a list of the themes you are interested in writing about - whatever these might be. Don't think about books, just think about writing a list of what really interests you. send me your thoughts, and we'll find some good texts that will allow you to explore these themes. It is easier doing it that way than picking two books and trying to make connections that don't exist. Let me know how you get on.
Okay so my themes are feminism, mothers, female emotions.
One of my texts that i 100% want to do is the yellow wallpaper by Gilman
What good text or other novel could I compare with this for my coursework???

Thanks!
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LiyoS
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Ok - this is good - you have narrowed down a text you really want to look at and some themes around feminism. I would pick something by Virginia Woolf then. i'd do this for two reasons:

(1) their dates are comparable, so you are writing about roughly the same period

(2) Woolf will be an impressive pick for the examiners. This is undergraduate level stuff you are looking at.

There is a lot of stuff to explore here in terms of being modernist texts. (i.e. lots around stream of consciousness narration and how we are privy to the narrators' interiority). "To The Lighthouse" is a good pick in that Mrs Ramsay is the mother, and very much holds the "angel of the hearth" role. She (spoiler alert) dies in the middle of the novel, leaving an absence in the centre of the text. The role of the "mother" we discern has worn her out. A good contrast to the more problematic narrator of "the yellow wallpaper" who cannot fulfil the "angel of the hearth" role, and therefore takes on the "demon in the attic" role (Elaine Showalter's terms).

Lots here about family, male/female roles/oppression. This would be a good way forward. 'To the Lighthouse" is a short novel, but will require close reading. You may find it unlike anything else you have ever read, so be prepared for that. Let me know how you get on.
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Thank you very much!
I will do some more research and let you know how I get on soon!
I have read a few summaries and it is not linked really to the yellow wallpaper in terms of psychie - I did want to mention and talk about how women's emotions are presented in the novel, controllive husbands etc.
There is nothing to do with the mental condition of the mother in the lighthouse text you mentioned

I want to do something that mentions or has the following themes:
- female emotions
- female or protagonist mental states and how they progress
- female or male oppression
- how protagonist is presented positively or negatively in novel etc
- how female emotion is restricted or constrained
- how female emotions change through perspective
- how female emotions lead to negative consequences or positive events...

Etc..
I don't mind NOT doing female emotion... because I just want to do something that links with the themes of the yellow wallpaper!

Could you please do some more digging and find some other texts that link much more closely with the yellow wallpaper?

How does the lighthouse novel you mentioned link to the yellow wallpaper? Could you give me some examples of themes etc

Any other novel suggestions?

Thank You!!!!
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"To the Lighthouse" will give you a good insight into Mrs Ramsay's psyche and shows how she is much more feeling and intuitive in comparison to her husband. this is a good parallel with your other chosen novel, where the protagonist is cast as an emotional "patient" administered to by her scientific husband.

Lots in this novel about oppressive gender roles, about the constraints of being a mother, and the aspiration for a more powerful (associated with maleness) role. Added to which, you can draw upon Woolf's essays to back up her views of feminism. This is a good fit, trust me.
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(Original post by LiyoS)
"To the Lighthouse" will give you a good insight into Mrs Ramsay's psyche and shows how she is much more feeling and intuitive in comparison to her husband. this is a good parallel with your other chosen novel, where the protagonist is cast as an emotional "patient" administered to by her scientific husband.

Lots in this novel about oppressive gender roles, about the constraints of being a mother, and the aspiration for a more powerful (associated with maleness) role. Added to which, you can draw upon Woolf's essays to back up her views of feminism. This is a good fit, trust me.
Okay okay I trust you 100%!
You have helped me this far!
Thank you!
What other key themes do both the lighthouse text and the yellow wallpaper have in common?
Could you PLEASE link them?
I'm sorry I'm just finding this so difficult & I'm behind everyone else in picking and analysing my novels already so getting worried...
Thanks:-)
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(Original post by Ariel2611)
Okay okay I trust you 100%!
You have helped me this far!
Thank you!
What other key themes do both the lighthouse text and the yellow wallpaper have in common?
Could you PLEASE link them?
I'm sorry I'm just finding this so difficult & I'm behind everyone else in picking and analysing my novels already so getting worried...
Thanks:-)
When I say link them I mean like in a list...
Please make a list of the themes that occur below
Thanks
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(Original post by Ariel2611)
When I say link them I mean like in a list...
Please make a list of the themes that occur below
Thanks
Also what question could I do for both of these novels?
Female emotions?
Female imagination...???
Female...

Could you also give examples of any questions I could use as my title or thesis
Thanks so much for everything!!!
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(Original post by LiyoS)
"To the Lighthouse" will give you a good insight into Mrs Ramsay's psyche and shows how she is much more feeling and intuitive in comparison to her husband. this is a good parallel with your other chosen novel, where the protagonist is cast as an emotional "patient" administered to by her scientific husband.

Lots in this novel about oppressive gender roles, about the constraints of being a mother, and the aspiration for a more powerful (associated with maleness) role. Added to which, you can draw upon Woolf's essays to back up her views of feminism. This is a good fit, trust me.
List of themes please?
Thank you!
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