Category Archives: VIDEO🎥

🎥SHORT STORY: “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman

SHORT STORY: “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American (1860-1935)

There are no monsters or ghosts in this story, but it is a horrifying tale nonetheless.  “The Yellow Wallpaper” describes the psychological deterioration of an upper-middle-class lady–l will call her Marianne. Marianne relates her story in her secret diary. We discover she has a vivid imagination: Her doctors describe her as having a “slight hysterical tendency.”

Marianne’s physician husband, John, “practical in the extreme,” rents a summer vacation house and installs his wife in a large attic. Marianne says, “It was a nursery first and then a playroom and gymnasium,…for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the wall.” Did Gilman have Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in mind where Mr. Rochester “hides” his mad wife, Bertha Mason, in the attic at Thornfield Hall?  Apparently, Marianne is not vacationing in “a colonial mansion.” It is a secluded house–perhaps an old sanitarium–rented by John to hide her “temporary nervous depression” from relatives.  Marianne writes, “So I take phosphates and tonics…and air, and exercise, and I am absolutely forbidden to ‘work’ until I am well again.” John’s opposition to “more society and stimulus” contributes to Marianne’s mental unrest, loneliness, and final deterioration.  She begins her secret diary to “relieve her mind.” What does she write about?: Her husband, her illness, and her room–specifically, the yellow wallpaper. Continue reading

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🎥PLAY: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, American (1930-1965)

imageI have just finished reading one of the most poignant, heartrending, and honest plays ever written by an American playwright: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.  It is the story of an American family’s courageous struggle against racial discrimination in post-World War II Chicago.

When the play opens, we meet the Younger family: the elderly Lena Younger, her daughter Beneatha, son Walter Lee, Walter Lee’s wife Ruth, and their young son Travis.  They all share a clean but cramped apartment, filled with worn-out furniture.  We learn that Lena, a widow in her 60’s, is waiting for her husband’s $10,000 life insurance check.  The excitement builds as each family member tries to influence Lena on how to spend her money. Continue reading

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