Friday, 4 February 2011

On 'Black Swan', Repression, & 'The Yellow Wallpaper' (2)

After the narrator (in 'The Yellow Wallpaper') says, "You see he does not believe I am sick!"she follows: "And what can one do?"

Variations of this question become a kind of mantra in the story. Yet every time the narrator utters one of these dismissive phrases, her Shadow counters with something like: "But I must say what I feel and think in some way -- it is such a relief!"

It is, at first, not the narrator (she thinks and we think) behind the wallpaper but a "shape", "like a woman". But increasingly, we learn that it is, in fact, "a woman", until the narrator says quite explicitly, "...but now I am quite sure it is a woman." Even then, it is not the narrator (she thinks and we think) behind the wallpaper until the narrator increasingly mirrors the behaviors of "the woman" in the wallpaper, until she "[gets] up and [runs] to help [her]".

At last, we hear that she has "come out of the wallpaper". In the final lines, she says, "I've got out at last."

As ever, I wonder about the story after the story.

Nina dies from the shard of glass she has shoved through her tutu.

The narrator in 'The Yellow Wallpaper' presumably keeps "creeping" over her husband John, who has fainted, "every time!"

Yet what happens after Nina's body goes lifeless at the back of that stage--the white tutu blooming with her blood--for her, for her "mommy", for the director who pushed her (at least in part) to this place, this death?

And what happens to Jane, if that is indeed her name, when John comes to from his swoon?

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