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American Individualism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper And The Raven, By Edgar Allan Poe

1018 words - 5 pages

Do you know what American Individualism means? Are you an individualist? Discussing these issues and topics are very important because individualism or collectivism is a lifestyle and depends directly how you look at it. American Individualism is a key term used today in our society. Today, people are turning individualism into collectivism, yet trying to hold on to both at the same time. Depending on who you are and what you believe, you will have your own idea on the positives and negatives of individualism, and where you stand. Despite the fact of the good and bad in American Individualism, without the freedom of standing alone, we are nothing.
To group individuals together, categorize them and classify them as a single entity is demeaning to each person’s individuality. There is a lot of positives and negatives that go along with being an individualist. For instance, in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins, the woman is struggling to be independent. Even after John locks his wife in a room, she continues to rely on him. John convinces his wife she is crazy and she eventually goes psychotic believing it. A perfect example of this is when John states "Bless her little heart!" said he with a big hug, "she shall be as sick as she pleases! But now let's improve the shining hours by going to sleep, and talk about it in the morning!" (Gilman pg. 5) After being locked in a room for so long alone, she obsesses over the yellow wallpaper and drivers herself to insanity. After ripping all of the paper off of the walls, she ties herself to the bed, in fear of the “women” coming out of the wallpaper. For example she states “But I am securely fastened now by my well-hidden rope -- you don't get me out in the road there !” (Gilman pg. 9) This story is a great example of why individualism is a good thing. Their are also many negatives when it comes to collectivism. After being in a group setting for so long, you no longer know how it is to be on your own. Most people who can’t stand alone, don’t know how to stand at all.
Today, many people see the ideal American Individualist to be free and independent, some say otherwise. Our country was deprived from American founders who built this country upon individual’s rights, yet collectivism is a major role being used today. Most people are stuck between trying to grasp the purpose of individualism and collectivism at the same time, causing them to not understand either. “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe is a perfect example of how someone was both, a collectivist, and an individualist. This short story is a reflection on lost love, death, and loss of hope. Up until the death of his wife, Poe thought he was an individualist. In this short story, Poe cannot get ride of the raven. I believe this is an example of collectivism. Poe states “Ghastly grim and ancient Raven...

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