Eve Ensler Analysis

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The well known playwright and feminist, Eve Ensler, once recited, “I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay with being different, and with being this alive, this intense. (xxvi)”. Ensler’s statement comes into play several times in the story as the narrator struggles to accept the differences between “pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting”. The narrator is a married, mother of one, who is suffering from depression and anxiety. Her condition is over exaggerated by her husband, John, who claims that since he is a physician, he must know what is best for her. The narrator has a tough time recovering because of her husband’s lack of belief in her illness and…show more content…
The control John has on the narrator is evident and she tries to justify the control for a majority of the story. “He says with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency, So I try” (Gilman 55). In this line, the author was saying how she loved seeing people walk up and down the sidewalks and she was immediately shut by her husband. He continues to try to “normalize” her behavior and look down upon her unique qualities, making her condition worse. In addition, John tries to make everything he says or does is right by constantly repeating that they moved into the mansion because of her and using kind words to take away from the fact that he is trying to control her. This drives her deeper into her mental illness that she decides to start writing in her journal to relieve her stress. However, the one thing that keeps pondering on her mind while she is writing is that she doesn’t want anyone catching her with her journal, that she should not write because it is a source of her illness. One can expect some sort of relief after being “forced” into isolation from the rest of the world, but John is persistent on keeping the narrator in her room and asleep for most of the day. This sort of control drives the…show more content…
“... he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more” (Gilman 28). In the previous quote, the narrator was explaining how John didn’t want to move into the room she wanted because there wasn’t two beds for them. She also added he was loving, caring, and would not let her do anything without permission. However, when she has any emotions other than love and thankful towards John, she quickly feels guilty for even having any “ungrateful” feelings or any feelings at all. Everytime, the narrator tries to make a request or express her feeling to her husband, he reminds her of her illness and gives her more tonics to keep her asleep and in her room. She complains about how he won’t listen to her in her journal, but immediately takes it back because “John is doing everything for her benefit. As the narrator remains in her isolated room, she also become guilty for having her illness and not being able to care for her child. The narrator rips herself apart with blaming herself and feeling guilty for her having feelings. Guilt drives her closer and closer to her massive mental collapse, as she tries to cope with

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