The Yellow Wallpaper

Without Dignity, We Are Nothing 11th Grade

As each novel and investigation into the human mind and spirit has demonstrated, we are creatures who crave honor and respect, the two key tenets to having dignity. Without dignity, we are nothing. Without respect, we fall to a lesser state - a state less than human. Or so these novels incline us to believe. Throughout The Yellow Wallpaper, The Scarlet Letter, and Beloved, each key character faces the struggles of regaining dignity - and emerges a changed person because of it. The narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper seeks to free herself of the oppressive rule of her husband and enter into the world as a dignified, working woman, but her husband keeps her a prisoner in their own house as she is slowly driven insane. Hester Prynne deals with her own struggle/s as she defies the intense mockery of the town and works to rebuild her reputation after being labeled as an adulterer. And, arguably, Sethe suffered the most scorn and disrespect from those who discovered her terrible secret of infanticide. These three women faced oppression, disgust, and most importantly, disrespect, but each fought in their own way to regain dignity among their peers, neighbors, and the world. And as with all struggles, all fights to regain a quintessential...

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