American Individualism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe

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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 !” (...

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...ositives and negatives in collectivism and individualism, but in the end, no one truly knows what is best for the ideal citizen. Individualism cannot be determined by a foundation but instead your opinions on something. Just as collectivism cannot be determined by simply one person. I hope you now know the difference of being in the crowd and standing alone. So I will ask again, where do you stand?

Works Cited

Gilman, Charlotte P. "The Yellow Wallpaper." The Language of Literature. Ed. Arthur N. Applebee. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2006. 766-78. Print.
Poe, Edgar A. "The Raven." The Language of Literature. Ed. Arthur N. Applebee. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2006. 467-70. Print.
Andre, Claire, and Manuel Velasquez. "American Society and Individualism." American Society and Individualism. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

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