Comparing Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass And The Yellow Wallpaper

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Two literary works that represent the concepts and power of resistance, and, more specifically, what is called “Secret Resistance”—when one apparently agrees to cooperate, but does the opposite mentally, are Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass and The Yellow Wallpaper. One important aspect of Secret Resistance is that since it’s hidden, other people are not usually able to recognize it, and that is beneficial when repelling or fighting for a revolution. In Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, by not telling anyone about his plan and working hard, Douglass is able to obtain freedom eventually. Similarly, the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper acts in front of others as if she were getting better but actually she is growing sicker …show more content…

In contrast to slaves who run away, get caught and punished, Douglass does not simply escape at the beginning. Even though he fights back his master once, he is clear about what is going on, and he knows that slavery would not be ended just by escaping to elsewhere. Escaping would only make slavery even worse and crueller than before. Because slaveholders profit from enslaving, and if more slaves escape, slaveholders would just be more inhumane and try to get all runaway slaves back. Unlike slaves who uses impetuous resistance and fight directly, Douglass uses secret resistance and starts thinking about strategies. He realizes that white people enslave all slaves by keeping them ignorant and away from being educated. Therefore, he decides to fight for freedom by using secret resistance, which means to learn how to read and write secretly. Then he tries to influence other slaves and get them interested in learning reading and writing as well. He established a secret school for slaves. Everything he does to oppose slavery is secret, he performs like a good slave in front of his masters. The good use of secret resistance does not let him get suspected or investigated by slaveholders, and it makes Douglas successful to eventually be able to obtain freedom and finds his true value as one of the most famous …show more content…

But the fact is that she grows sicker inside. She sees a crawling woman arrested in her wall, and she starts writing diaries secretly, which can be understood as “secret resistance” against her husband since her husband John does not allow her to write. By using secret resistance, her husband is not able to realize anything wrong with the narrator because she cooperates apparently, and that is what allows the narrator to lose control successfully. Even though we don’t really know what happens after her husband faints, she still succeeds in getting out of John’s control in a way that she shows her true self under the repressive male-controlled society. At the end of this story, the narrator says to her husband that “I’ve got out at last, and I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back”. After she has gone crazy, her husband is no longer able to control and repress her. It is tragic how the narrator tries to listen to her husband but finds that she is sicker, how she feels more hopeless towards John as time passes, how she decides and manages to fight back by using secret resistance, and eventually how she goes crazy under a patriarchal

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