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Patience and Hope

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S: Patience and Hope by Ruba Elzein

BC: Patience and Hope is a student -made project about what it takes to incite meaningful change. The main character, Penelope, is a futuristic modern woman who goes back in time to tell three women what they need to do to incite meaningful change.

FC: Patience and Hope By Ruba Elzein

1: This is Penelope. She is a modern woman. She has the same rights and opportunities that men do, including voting, divorce rights, and the opportunity to pursue a career and be independent.

2: This is her time machine. | Today I'm going to go back in time and visit three different women from the past.

3: These three women, in the time period that they lived, did not know and enjoy the same rights and opportunities that women like Penelope have today.

4: So back in time she went...

5: Starkfield

6: Penelope landed in Starkfield, in the house of Ethan Frome. She was upstairs, standing in the narrow hallway, when she heard Zeena and Ethan in the middle of an argument... | Ethan: "I know you're unhappy Zeena, but I can't help you. 'When [you] speak it is only to complain, and to complain of things not in [my] power to remedy'" (Wharton 39). "What did you expect me to do? I couldn't take care of her myslef! I can't take care of you either; that's why we have Mattie." "Well if you don't like what I'm providin' for you, then why don't you just leave?" | Zeena: "Well I wouldn't be so unhappy if I hadn't 'lost [my health] nursing your own mother!'" (61). "Well Mattie ain't much more help than you are." "Leave? How do you suppose I'm to leave? I've got no money, no place to go, I can't get a job, and in my condition, I couldn't live by myself!

7: "Zeena!" ... "I don't know what else to do. I can't help you anymore than I am now, and you certainly can't leave. We'll just have to stay here, and hope you get better..." | And what would people say? It's not typical for a woman to be going out and living on her own. Besides, you marrying me was the best you could offer. '...my folks all told me at the time you couldn't do less than marry me'" (61). | ......................

8: After things had settled down and the Fromes went back to their daily business, Penelope analyzed the conversation she just heard and tried to figure out how she could help Zeena. Like Zeena said, she couldn't just get up and move away. She wouldn't be able to divorce Ethan or get a job. Penelope couldn't talk or help Zeena directly, as that would pose questions as to who Penelope was, how she got there, what she was doing, etc. The only way to connect with Zeena would be to leave some sort of written note... | Dear Zenobia, I know that it may be a mystery where this came from, but do not be afraid. I am writing this note to help you. I am aware that you are an unhappy woman in difficult times; you are miserable and ill with no one to help take care of you. Although your situation looks bleak now, I promise

9: that it will get better. In future times, women in the same situation that you are in will be able to move away and get a job. They will be able to do what they like and be free. The same will happen for you if you just have hope and patience. These two things are key aspects that initiate change. So if you are patient and you hope for change, it will come to you. Remember that good things always come to those who wait. Sincerely, A Modern Woman

10: Now it was time for Penelope to visit another woman from the past...

11: The yellow wall-papered room

12: Penelope was now in the yellow wall-papered room of a summer home. It was empty, but she could hear people moving about downstairs. There was a journal laying on the floor, so Penelope picked it up and flipped to the latest entry... | Dear Journal, Oh, this horrid wallpaper! I hate to have to sit and stare at it all day. I have to stay here because John says that resting in the summer home will help with my "temporary nervous depression" (Gilman 766). "You see he does not believe I am sick!" (766) John says I must "take phosphates or phosphites-whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and [I] am absolutely forbidden to 'work' until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with [his] ideas...I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good" (766-768). But what do I know? I am not a physician. I am just a woman; a wife, a sister, a daughter. I cannot make my own health decisions. And certainly I cannot just get up and leave...that would never work...

13: Oh, I must stop writing now, "there comes John's sister. Such a dear girl she is, and so careful of me! I must not let her find me writing" (770). I do hope I don't have to stare at this wallpaper for much longer. | Penelope went through and read the rest of the journal to get a sense of the woman's situation. She knew that she had to help this woman, like Zeena, understand that change was coming her way. She decided to leave a note in the woman's journal like she had previously...

14: Dear Reader, I am leaving this note to help you...do not be afraid of where or how this has come to you. I understand your current situation. You are not able to make your own medical decisions, as you have no right at the moment. People believe that you are not capable because you are a woman. I feel compelled to tell you that one day, this will change for you. All you have to do is wait and hope. Eventually, enough women like you would have suffered enough, and an uprising will bring you the rights and recognition you deserve. Even though you might want to take action now, you must wait and keep hoping, and action will be taken in the future. Sincerely, A Modern Woman

15: Penelope ventured out once more to visit the last woman...

16: Boston Opera House, during a Wagner Matinée

17: Penelope's final destination was in Boston at an opera house, seated a good amount of rows behind Aunt Georgiana and Clark. This way she could see what was going on between them, but not be seen or heard. Throughout the matinée, Penelope watched what affect the music had on Georgiana. She watched her hands motion through the piano score of The Flying Dutchman and tears surface around her eyes at the start of the "Prize Song". At the end of the performance, after most everyone had left, Georgiana "burst into tears and sobbed pleadingly. 'I don't want to go, Clark, I don't want to go!'" (Cather 696). Penelope knew she had to help this woman in the same way she had helped Zeena and the woman with the journal. She had to tell Georgiana that meaningful change was on the way, if she would just sight tight and hope for the best. So Penelope wrote the final note of her expedition to Georgiana...

18: Dear Georgiana, This note is written to inform you of the meaningful change that is coming your way. I understand the position that you're in. You were forced to move out to a house that is isolated from contact with the rest of society. You were forced to give up a career that you love to move. I know that at the moment, you do not want to go back to the dreary life you have been forced to live, and that it would be frowned upon if you were to leave that life with your husband. I want to inform you that this will change in the future. If you just keep hoping and remain how you are,

19: change will come to you. For this change to happen, and for you to gain the rights that belong to you, you must remain patient and you must have hope. The collective hope and patience of women like you will incite meaningful change. Women will come together and rise up and demand reform. Until then, you just need to wait and hope for the change you deserve. Sincerely, A Modern Woman | Penelope's journey took her to three different places, and during her journey she explained to three different women what it takes to incite meaningful change. These women will soon find out that all it takes is hope patience for change to arrive.

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  • By: Ruba E.
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  • Title: Patience and Hope
  • What it takes to incite meaningful change for women.
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  • Published: almost 8 years ago