The Ultimate Control Essay Research Paper

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The Ultimate Control Essay, Research Paper “We were a silent, hidden thought in the folds of oblivion, and we have become a voice that causes the heavens to tremble.” -Kahlil Gibran In the times that we live in today, in a relationship men and women have equal rights. Relationships are based on the idea that it takes both men and women to make a relationship work. There is a mutual respect between partners. However in the Nineteenth century, women had virtually no say in their lives or relationships. The men controlled everything. Women allowed their feelings and opinions to be controlled and influenced by men. This society that allows this to happen makes it harder for women to overcome such repression. It gives the sense that men are better than women. This is not

always the case; there are relationships where women have the ultimate control. This is shown in “Editha” and “The Yellow Wall-Paper” at some point in each story there is a shift in the power, the spouse that has initial control loses it and in both stories, the women gain control. In “Editha” by William Dean Howells, the power in the relationship between Editha and her fiancee, George Gearson, is switched. Editha is the one with the control. In one instance, George comes to her for advice and help. He isn’t sure if he should go to war or not; “I know you always have the highest ideal. When I differ from you I ought to doubt myself” (Howells 1529). He comes to her because he feels that she will tell him to do the right thing. He knows Editha has a set

“ideal” for him. However, she uses this power and control that George has given her, and selfishly convinces him to go to war for her; ” But now, it flashed upon her, if he could do something worthy to have her be a hero, her hero…” (Howells 1528). For Editha, George’s love is not enough anymore he needed to prove it by going to war for her, and by being her “hero”. George puts his fate in Editha’s hands. He gives her all power in his situation; he allows her beliefs to become his own; “Oh I know you do! But you wish me to believe so, too?” (Howells 1530). As a result of Editha’s prior ideals for George, he cannot rely on himself; he is completely dependant on Editha and allows her opinion dictate his decision. In Editha’s mind, the only way that George

can prove his love for her is by going to war for her; “there is no honor above America with me” (Howells 1531). And when he was elected captain and goes off to war Editha is satisfied; “Whether his sophistries satisfied him or not, they satisfied her”(Howells 1534). However, George does not come back, and his death makes Editha depressed. In her thoughts of him going to war and becoming her hero she has never thought that he might not come back; “you didn’t expect that [for him to die], I suppose, when you sent him” (Howells 1536). At this point the power that Editha has over George is switched. George is dead and was controlling her emotions. Her initial power backfires, because she irrationally used it without thinking of the consequences and now no longer has

George. However, this psychological control exercised over Editha after his death does not last long. Editha rises above the vulgarity of the depression that she has and returns to her ideals; “she rose from the groveling in shame and self- pity, and began to live again in the ideal” (Howells 1537).. In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Gilman, the narrator, Charlotte, has no control over her situation in the beginning; her husband John controls everything. He has power over what she does and when she did it. Since she is sick, she is “absolutely forbidden to “work” until [she is] well again”(Gilman 1735). John makes up a daily schedule for her and forbids her to have any visitors or to write; she is supposed to do what John tells her to do. Although Charlotte