S: The Crushing Pressure
FC: The Crushing Pressure Amanda Whalen
1: The Crushing Pressure What insights meaningful change? Amanda Whalen
3: “Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors.” -Evelyn Cunningham
4: April 14, 1899 Dear Diary, Today is the wedding. Jon is very excited. He says we will have a wonderful life together. I suppose I am excited too. But all week I have felt right wobbly. Jon insists I am just being silly, as does father. Beth and Nellie say I am nervous for the wedding. I suppose they are right. It was only this week I began feeling unsteady. I had been just as excited as Jon for our new life together. We were not the only ones excited. When father received the news of our engagement, he was elated. Both Beth and Nellie had been married a few years prior. It is not typical for the oldest sister to be married last. Father was beginning to worry I would become a spinster. Perhaps that is why he introduced Jon and I but a year ago. Father always knows what is best for me. Nellie just called me downstairs to get dressed. I am feeling lightheaded, but I suppose I am just nervous. I am just being silly. -Anne Williams
5: Expectations Society tries to define me Society tries to force me into a mold Until I become another cookie cutter Another weak, useless copy Until I become what society wants me to be Society tries to define me But why? Who benefits from this monotonous world? What is the point of a one-size-fits-all life? Why should I become what society wants me to be? Society tries to define me But I refuse to give in A cookie cutter lifestyle does not work for me I will not become what society wants me to be
6: "If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency- what is one to do?" (Gilman 766).
7: July 8, 1901 Dear Diary, I’ve been feeling awfully mean of the late. For the past two years actually. Daily routines of cleaning the house and preparing supper have grown tiresome. Every day has come to be a struggle. Jon wants to take me to a doctor in town. I would rather not go. But I am sure he knows what is best for me. -Anne Williams
8: "In fact, some of these cases become what in a woman we should call hysterical, and by turns bewail their condition, or pitifully apologize for their want of manly endurance." (Mitchell 62). | "Moreover,the greater number of such cases were women, and the hysterical element comes largely into view as the disorder progresses." (Mitchell 62).
9: Dear Jon Williams, After examining your wife, Anne Williams, it is apparent that she is suffering from psychological issues. Do not be alarmed, as these diseases often appear in women similar to your wife. Women can sometimes become too weak to take on life. As a cure, I would highly suggest rest and isolation. It is a very simple cure. Keep Anne in bed and do not allow her to exert herself. After a few months she should be feeling better and she will be able to slowly ease back into her daily routine. Sincerely, Dr. David Jameson
10: August 27, 1901 Dear Diary, This is my second week on rest. All day. Every day. For fourteen days. That is more than 336 hours. 336 hours spent sitting in a room. Doing nothing. Life everywhere outside is still going on. And I am stuck in this room. Life seems to be wasting away. Jon insists that I am better. But that is only because I am such a clever actress. Acting happy when he is in the room. Crying when he leaves. I can feel my mind slipping away. I am sure I am not getting better. This treatment is making me worse. I told Jon the doctor could not help me. He insisted on taking me anyway. Thinking he knows what is best for me! What a fool. -Anne Williams
11: August 30, 1901 Dear Jon, Please forgive me. I need to be free. I can no longer go on living like this. Perhaps this room has gotten to me. Perhaps this marriage has gotten to me. Either way, I need to be free. That is what is best for me. Death is the only way to escape confinement. To be free. Love, Anne
13: "Free! Body and soul free" (Chopin 785).