Stifled Women in Yellow Wallpaper, Rappaccini's Daughter, and Beloved

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Stifled Women in The Yellow Wallpaper, Rappaccini's Daughter, and Beloved

A connection can be drawn among the stories listed above regarding women who live as prisoners. Beatrice, of Rappaccini's Daughter, is confined to a garden because of her father's love of science, and she becomes the pawn to several men's egos. The woman of The Yellow Wallpaper is trapped by her own family's idea of how she should conduct herself, because her mood and habit of writing are not "normal" to them. Sethe, of Beloved, carries the burden of her past and also the past of all slaves. She is unwelcome in her community and a prisoner in her own home, where she is forced to confront these memories of slavery. All three of these women are viewed by
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Each man only saw what he wanted to see regarding Beatrice, and for Giovanni, it was most complex. Her father probably had good intentions when he caused his daughter to be poisonous. He did it as a means of protection, but this backfired, because the tendency of others to misunderstand Beatrice's complex makeup led them to unintentionally kill her. Each of the three men in Rappaccinni's Daughter wanted to mold Beatrice into something and each had his own idea of her identity, yet none of them looked at her subjectively. This is pointed out by Luedtke on page 188. "When he (Giovanni) was unable to bring Beatrice 'rigidly and systematically' within the realm of his own experience, and unwilling to risk a closer knowledge, Giovanni left the poison-damsel to die in her own pleasure-place." It is interesting to note Luedtke's use of the words "pleasure-place". This suggests that the poisonous garden was not the real problem or prison for Beatrice. An interesting point is revealed by Luedtke as he states, "The author makes a late attempt to intertwine her poison and her purity, but the demonic and the angelic continue to occupy their separate spheres, the former of the body, the latter of the soul. As Baglioni's antidote takes effect, eradicating the poison from Beatrice's system, her physical life is consumed. The soul might be innocent but it has no resting place."(181) If Beatrice's soul had no
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