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19th century literature and medicine

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Treatments followed by four to eight weeks of rest in between allow the patient to remove the maximum amount of pigment cells. Patients can notice a lightening of the lesion after each treatment as the body disposes of the pigment cells. Interestingly, most birthmarks lighten by at least seventy five percent; where as some may lighten by even up to ninety five percent. Georgina’s death, as a result of her husband’s ‘will for perfection’ could not only have been avoided today, but she could have been cured of her birthmark.

The matter in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins is much complicated. Barbara A. Suess sees the symbols as an agent to overcome the lack of Lacanian “Imaginary” language beyond the “Symbolic Order” or what cannot be symbolized. Thus every fragment of her unique sense of the self is a mosaic of reactions to the “Wallpaper” and within the “dead paper” of her journal where she uses masculine utterances to give vent to her silenced self. Hence she can only grapple at visual details that correspond to the vague images of her mind that has only found a corresponding “objective correlative” in the wallpaper.

Suess calls this her attempt to “create a new order” (Suess, 84). The wallpaper is the canvas where she objectifies herself. The “patterns” of her condition when projected subjectively with expressionistic detail over the wallpaper only appear “gruesome” to her. Slowly one can observe a change in her as she tires herself out and goes out of her way to “think” out a pattern and etch out a space of her own. Suddenly she sees a crack within the interminable and exhaustive “patterns” as they appear as “bars”.

And beyond that she finds herself buried underneath that charade of “self-control” and “will”. Another startling effect is produced by the symbol of daylight and moonlight. It can have indefinite meanings to a post-Freudian reader, but if taken in the context of the narrative pattern itself, the light and darkness seem to directly refer to her new sense of alienation. She sees herself as a social misfit (like all the other creeping women she sees) only because she understands the futility of this silence and restive calm.

It is only a decorated surface that mocks her with “bulbous eyes” and lolling heads. She can tolerate or understand John’s laughter but not the laughter of those eyes, because she cannot face her own sham. Her sense of self is almost like that ‘paper’, which under the ownership of the master and like a palimpsest has lost it’s own sense of identity and is of a cowardly shade of yellow that follows her everywhere, the smell of which make her constantly aware of her own imprisonment.

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preview essay on 19th century literature and medicine
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Undergraduate
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