Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”

I didn’t intend to repeat an artist already, but this song seemed too perfect to not use for these particular readings.  The Haunting by Anberlin may be more about a relationship, but it also has a lot of eerie descriptions, as well as a spooky tone to match. The first verse describes an old, seemingly haunted house which of course reminded me of the House of Usher. When listening to this song, I felt a lot of the same feelings as I did reading the story, which is the main reason I chose it for this post.

So far, this has been my favorite reading assignment because I love Poe. I like the darker tones in his stories, and to me they are easier to read and enjoy than some of the others.

Of course, both stories are loaded with Gothic elements and imagery, but what I like most is how the House of Usher seems like a character of its own, especially with the “vacant eye-like windows.” The house also seems to really effect the characters’ state of mind. The narrator seems intrigued but fine before entering the house, but his friend clearly has psychological problems. As the story progresses, the narrator also begins battling with his mind. A key moment for me was when the narrator becomes overwhelmed with horror in the night.

“Overpowered by an intense sentiment of horror, unaccountable yet unendurable, i threw on my clothes with haste, (for I felt that I should sleep no more during the night,) and endeavored to arouse myself from the pitiful condition into which I had fallen, by pacing rapidly to and fro through the apartment,” (2716).

This is when the house begins to take control over his mind. In a way, this reminded me of The Scarlet Letter when Dimmesdale is affected by his sin. Similarly, Usher is physically affected by the house. He is described as having “an evidently restrained hysteria in his whole demeanor.” His physical appearance only gets worse as the story continues. Right at the end, before Usher’s dead sister appears to them, it seems like Usher is being possessed. That description, more so than the image of the sister, is what was most creepy to me.

To expand on some of the Gothic elements, the supernatural is extremely present, but I was most intrigued by the nightmarish obsession element that comes up for Usher and odd outbursts having to do with “hearing it” again and again throughout the story. And of course, there’s the sister who escapes her coffin. One could also argue that Usher is trapped by his psychological problems caused by the house.

“The Tell-Tale Heart” had similar themes. The eye comes up again, but in a more prominent way. And again, I was reminded of The Scarlet Letter as the beating heart haunted the narrator until he was forced to confess because it was making him so crazy. There is also this line that made me think of Dimmesdale:

“Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me,” (2728).

Just as Dimmesdale had the scarlet A etched into his skin over his chest, the narrator in this story can feel this need to cut out the eye in his very chest. By saying that it “wells” makes the feeling seem mystical or supernatural, similar to the scarlet A.

One difference I noticed between this and “The Fall of the House of Usher” was the writing style. “The Tell-Tale Heart” seemed to have a smoother, more modern-sounding tone. It’s not quite as full of detailed, long descriptions. It gets straight into the plot and moves quickly. The supernatural, enchanted elements still remained, but it read different.

In both stories, I also noted several instances of fantastical or magical words used which gave the stories a magical tone. The characters even seem to “feel” things that don’t seem possible or real.

 

Melville’s “Benito Cereno” Part 1

Since this post will be all about the ship that Captain Delano sees toward the beginning, I thought using “The Black Pearl” song off the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack seemed appropriate. The tone of the song seemed fitting for the description of the ship, and The Black Pearl is known as the ship with supernatural elements.

Melville uses a whole two pages just to describe the ship that Captain Delano sees, and there is a lot of imagery in those two pages. Right away we get the sense that this ship was ordinarily fancy and made high quality, but that it’s now seen better days. Just one of the many lines describing the state of the ship says, “Battered and mouldy, the castellated forecastle seemed some ancient turret, long ago taken by assault, and then left to decay,” (2900). It’s covered in sea moss, rust, weeds, and slimy sea-grass. There is also a canvas covering part of the ship to hide the decay.

Besides the awful state of the ship, it also possesses some supernatural qualities There is part of a paragraph describing relics that depict mythological symbols  and a masked satyr. Along with that, there is a quote that states,

“The ship seems unreal; these strange costumes, gestures, and faces, but a shadowy tableau just emerged from the deep, which directly must receive back what it gave,” (2901).

There is also a moment where the ship is described as having “something of the effect of enchantment” on that same page. These supernatural elements are what originally reminded me of The Black Pearl, but they also provide a Gothic feel to the story. The exotic location also adds to that.

It’s also interesting to note that because the quarter deck is described as being raised above the rest of the ship, there is a sense of disconnect between its Captain and passengers which would explain the “follow your leader” painted on the side.

Captain Delano also seems to be intrigued by the ship. He can’t stop looking at it, but not with fear. His glances at the ship are described as “eager.” Some people in class were calling his character overly trusting, and this could be one of those contributing factors. He is eager to see this ship that may contain something dangerous. However, it is noted that no guns could be seen on the ship, but that could also mean that the passengers are hiding their weapons away until confrontation happens.

“The Scarlet Letter” Ch. 20-End

This time around, the song gets dedicated to Dimmesdale once again.

I imagine him singing this to himself as he begins to realize he can longer handle all the guilt and gets ready to finally confess.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8un1Dlv8Ns

Finally! Dimmesdale confessed in this section, and my first (well, second since I’ve read this already) is that the scene is incredibly dramatic. It makes sense with the minister’s stored up guilt and self-hatred. I found it interesting that he gets around to the confession by using the third person before revealing that he’s talking about himself. It’s almost like he wants the townspeople to believe in what he is saying without allowing them to automatically denounce the truth simply because it’s their beloved minister.

“‘The devil knew it well, and fretted it continually with the touch of his burning finger! But he hid it cunningly from men, and walked among you with the mien of a spirit, mournful, because so pure in a sinful world!–and sad, because he missed his heavenly kindred,'” (174)

I get the impression that Dimmesdale just wants to get out all of his feelings that have been building. Or perhaps he is so disgusted by his sin that he has to talk about them as if they were done by someone else, like he can’t quite get himself to admit to what he did. It’s also interesting that Dimmesdale gave his best sermon before he confesses as if he thinks he owes the people for keeping this huge secret. It could also mean he was trying to reconnect with his more spiritual self before he confesses.  It is mentioned on page 163 that when he gave his last sermon it seemed as though his strength “seemed not of body. It might be spiritual…” On the same page it is observed that he has noticeable energy and his hand never lingered over his heart like it usually does. It seems as though Dimmesdale can feel that confessing will bring him back to God which is what he so dearly misses, as he expresses in my first quote.

The narrator forms his own opinion on what Dimmesdale’s death signifies, and that struck me while finishing the novel. He says,

“After exhausting life in his efforts for mankind’s spiritual good, he had made the manner of his death a parable, in order to impress on his admirers the mighty and mournful lesson, that, in the view of Infinite Purity, we are sinners all alike,” (177).

I don;t know if this was Dimmesdale’s intention when he revealed his secret and died, but it’s an interesting way to look at it. Instead of saying it was all a lesson about not keeping secrets or committing adultery, the narrator goes with this. It wasn’t until I read this quote that I considered the idea. Thinking about it, Dimmesdale did come off to a majority of the people as the holiest man who could never do wrong, yet behind all their backs he was a sinner plagued by guilt. Instead of coming out right away as Hester did, he hides his sin and was never able to find salvation until he confessed. Maybe the true parable is that it’s better to confess to sin and receive peace of mind or forgiveness than to hide one’s sin and live in misery.

 

 

“The Scarlet Letter” Ch. 13-19

I’m using one of my all time favorite songs for this post, “Grow Old” by The Naked and Famous. It seemed fitting for the parts I am going to discuss, particularly Chillingworth and his transformation (and not just because of the title of the song).

In class, my group talked a lot about the passage describing Chillingworth right at the beginning of chapter 15. His need for revenge has not only taken over his life, but its also taken over his appearance for the worst. I kept thinking of Jafar disguised as the beggar at the beginning of Aladdin, all hunched over with a long beard and a general craziness about him.

“His gray beard almost touched the ground, as he crept onward. Hester gazed after him a little while, looking with a half-fantastic curiosity to see whether the tender grass of early spring would not be blighted beneath him, and show the wavering track of his footsteps, sere and brown, across its cheerful verdure,” (120).

This quote struck me because it has switched the roles of the gaze for once in this story. Hester is gazing on at Chillingworth, and he is completely unaware. Usually someone is looking on at Hester. We talked about this a few times in class, and it was just an interesting change. Perhaps Chillingworth is derailing so much that he has lost that power.

I was also interested in how Hester brings up the “grass of early spring” because in past readings we know that spring is supposed to be about new life and starting over, but it doesn’t seem here that Chillingworth is changing at all. His darkness is only getting worse as the story progresses regardless of what season it is. That reminds me of Whitman who was the only other author who related spring with death in one of his poems because of Abraham Lincoln. Chillingworth certainly isn’t any kind of embodiment of rebirth. In fact, he tends to have a negative effect on other characters as well.

“The emotions of that brief space, while she stood gazing after the crooked figure of old Roger Chillingworth, threw a dark light on Hester’s state of mind, revealing much that she might not otherwise have acknowledged to herself,” (121).

Once again Hester is the one gazing at Chillingworth, but she also notices that he makes her acknowledge the darkness in herself, probably because he is so dark. It seems that Chillingworth has attained an almost supernatural ability to make people feel bad about their sins or want to confront their darkness. He has become this creepy, negative figure that is obsessed with revenge and makes other people feel bad as well.

“The Scarlet Letter” Ch. 11-12

I’ve used a song in one of my earlier entries, but I want to make that a continuing occurrence because I enjoy relating songs to literature.

This one is dedicated to Dimmesdale and Chillingworth’s complicated relationship.

How it relates: Chillingworth has caught on to Dimmesdale’s secret and is frustrated that he won’t admit it. Only when Chillingworth finally confesses will he finally feel “saved” or “free.”  Go ahead, Dimmesdale, tell the people.

Page 99 states:

“And yet, by the constitution of his nature, he loved the truth, and loathed the lie, as few men ever did. Therefore, above all things else, he loathed his miserable self!”

Dimmesdale begins to wage war against himself in these chapters because the guilt and need to confess is eating away  at him so much that he loathes himself. What I find interesting about this quote is that he believes that few men ever loath a lie.  We see that Chillingworth loathes Dimmesdale’s lie, yet not his own. He is similar in that he hides who he truly is from the public. There is a lot of secrecy involved here, and only Hester knows both sides. She holds the power to reveal them if she wants, but she doesn’t. In my last entry I wondered why Hester would want to save the identities of each of the men, but now I wonder if she might secretly know that the secrets will strongly effect both Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. Chillingworth is therefore forced to pretend to get to know Dimmesdale while Dimmesdale has to deal with the agony of his secret. Maybe Hester wants to see them suffer in their own ways which is why she agrees to stay quiet about who they are.

It’s also interesting that Dimmesdale seems more guilty about the peoples’ undeserving respect for him than he does about the actual deed itself. He mentions the agony he is in because of the genuine adoration from the people. I think perhaps this reason may be what finally pushes him to confess because he eventually won’t be able to stand their false love for him.

Then we have this vivid image of Dimmesdale, Pearl, and Hester holding hands on the platform.

“The minister felt for the child’s other hand, and took it.  The moment that he did so, there came what seemed a rush of new life, other life than his own…as if the mother and the child were communicating their vital warmth to his half-torpid system. The three formed and electric chain,” (105).

When Pearl tries to pull away a few lines later, the minister insists she hang on for a few more moments. It’s as if Dimmesdale cannot feel complete without being latched on to the other two. The source of his great guilt also appears to be the source of him feeling more alive which is interesting. It is also symbolic because after they see the light in the sky, Dimmesdale is standing with his hand over his heart, Hester has the red A over her heart, and Pearl is the symbol of the very A. It’s as if they are all three bearing the scarlet letter in this scene It is even more symbolic that they happen to be standing on the platform where Hester was first introduced for her crimes. Then of course, they see the A in the sky which just emphasizes the symbolism in the scene.

 

 

“The Scarlet Letter” The Custom House + Ch. 1-4

I read The Scarlet Letter in high school, but it’s funny how much of it I forgot until this re-reading. As I was reading I continually kept thinking “Oh, yeah! I forgot about that!” or “I think this will be important later.” I’m actually looking forward to re-reading and remembering why I liked this novel in the first place.

Early on we get an image of a rose bush that just happens to be there by the prison door. This was one of the images that I thought might come up a few times. Hawthorne somewhat hints at its significance He says,

“It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow,” (34).

Maybe this symbol was places early on in the book to foretell the tone of the rest of the story. Hester Prynne will of course be mocked and hated for what she did, but throughout there may also be a hint of mercy that pops up in places as well.  It could represent the other side of the punishment and harshness. Religion plays a big role in the story, and the rose bush may represent the forgiving aspect. Though Hester will have to wear the scarlet “A” for the rest of her life, that doesn’t mean that she can’t gain forgiveness for her actions. And to show the rose bush in contrast to the darkness of the prison door is important, especially since the rose bush has apparently stayed alive throughout history. I thought it was an interesting symbol to place in this negative situation.

A part I thought was really interesting was how Hester’s long lost husband returns while she is standing before everyone and says to the people:

“‘A wise sentence!’ remarked the stranger, gravely bowing his head. ‘Thus she will be a living sermon against sin, until the ignominious letter be engraved upon her tombstone. It irks me, nevertheless, that the partner of her iniquity should not, at least, stand on the scaffold by her side. But he will be known!–he will be known!–he will be known,'” (44).

Then the man hold a finger to his lips so that Hester doesn’t say anything, but she seems to only vaguely recognize him. It isn’t until later we find out that he is her husband, and he doesn’t seem to thrilled to find out that Hester had a child with another man. He is so determined to find out who the man is, yet he was the one who disappeared. We are also left wondering why Hester is keeping the man who broke the law with her a secret from everyone. Why would she want to protect him and get in trouble alone? Perhaps he has a reputation to uphold. And when her husband asks her to keep the secret about who he is, Hester agrees to. Why would she also want to protect the identity of her husband? Will she keep these secrets?

At the end of this reading section, it seemed to me that Hester’s husband was already planning his schemes because when Hester asks if he intends to ruin her soul, his response is: “‘Not thy soul,’ he answered, with another smile. ‘No, not thine,'” (53). I am curious to see where this subplot goes (thought I think I might remember what happens). Hester’s husband seems intent on ruining the soul of the man who got Hester pregnant.

I’m also concerned about the mysterious drink that he gave to Hester and the baby though Chillingworth insisted that he doesn’t mean to kill them. Maybe so that Hester can continue to live in shame? Regardless, there are some fishy things going on with that man, and the name Chillingworth seems rather appropriate to me.

“When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” by Walt Whitman

This poem intrigued me because Whitman’s inspiration is the death of Abraham Lincoln. Maybe it’s because I have not experienced a presidential death in my time, but I thought it was strange that he was so deeply affected by this death as if he knew the president personally. But what I found most interesting is how Whitman, unlike most authors we have read previously, relates death with spring. That isn’t a concept we are used to. He writes,

“When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d, / And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, / I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring,” (3312).

Not only does Whitman mourn during that particular spring, but he will continue to for every spring to follow, which increases my curiosity about why Whitman was so damaged by this death. Spring has been tainted for the poet which tells us why he associates many commonly positive symbols with death instead, such as the bird and the flowers and the land. Whitman singles out a “gray-brown” bird in the poem as his singer of death which struck me because it sounds like such an ordinary bird of no significance or relation to death. Of all the birds in nature, Whitman chooses the most ordinary to represent death and sing death’s song. Aside from the crow or raven, I have never heard of birds representing death, so that is just another example of how Whitman is unique in his spring symbols.

Then we get into the actual song that the bird sings, which is also quite different as it describes death as something soothing and good. He goes as far as to call death the “Dark Mother.”

“Dark Mother always gliding near with soft feet, / Have none chanted for thee a chant fullest welcome? / Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all, / I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly,” (3317).

Whitman gives the Dark Mother soft feet and a glorified nature. The bird sings of praising the Mother above all else which makes it seem like nothing is better than death and that we should view death as a warm embrace or something to find comfort in. One could argue that the Dark Mother isn’t a comforting symbol because of her darkness and sort of creepy description, but I think the fact that she is called a Mother and is soft and joyous is meant to be a positive symbol.

The song continues to praise death as it goes on, making it sound like something wonderful. This is interesting when related to Whitman’s association of death with spring. He still describes nature in depth and includes many aspects of it, but he taints it with the birds singing of death and the images of the family members suffering as the poem is almost finished. This poem is unique in the way it does not associate spring with life. This is a definite change from Thoreau and Emerson.

Whitman’s preface to “Leaves of Grass”

I thought this preface was interesting because Whitman mainly talks about what makes a great poet. Some of it sounded familiar, but I couldn’t remember if I’d read this before or not. Regardless, I enjoyed some of the points he brings up in the reading.

Whitman brings up the idea of past, present, and future in a way I liked. One of the quotes that stood out for me was in that section.

Past and present and future are not disjoined but joined. The greatest poet forms the consistence of what is to be from what has been and is. He drags the dead out of their coffins and stands them again on their feet…he says to the past, Rise and walk before me that I may realize you.

This reminded me of how people will sometimes say that individuals or characters will live on in writing. It’s the idea that when you’re reading a poem it doesn’t matter when the narrator or characters lived because a great poet should be able to transfer their poem to any present. In that way, I like that Whitman refers to the past, present, and future as joined. Perhaps Whitman also believed that by calling the past to the present he might learn something new about that time or even himself. When he talks about consistence of what is to be, has been, and is, it seems like he is again reinforcing the connection between past and present and future. I know other poets have given their various opinions about what makes a great poet, but I don’t recall any referring to this connection.

Another part of the preface that I took not of was when Whitman brings up the idea of poets and non-poets being on equal terms.

The messages of great poets to each man and woman are, Come to us on equal terms, Only then can you understand us, We are not better than you, What we enclose you enclose, What we enjoy you enjoy. Did you suppose there could be only one Supreme? We affirm there can be unnumbered Supremes, and that one does not countervail another any more than one eyesight countervails another…

Before I get into my analysis, the “Supreme” he mentions reminded me of a TV show, American Horror Story: Coven. In the show a coven of witches are all fighting about who should be the next Supreme after the old one dies. It’s been made a sort of joke with people, which is why I kind of laughed when I read the Whitman line. Moving past the humorous part, I really liked the quote though.

supreme chart

I found this interesting for Whitman to say because he isn’t taking on that elitist stance, thinking that great poets are above the rest of society. He even addresses both man and woman without putting man ahead of woman. That’s something we haven’t seen in our readings yet. Usually woman don’t get mentioned at all or they are referred to as lower than men. Whitman is saying that both man and woman can understand the great poets, indicating that he believes woman can be intelligent as well and can be on equal understanding terms. Whitman definitely tries to make the idea of a great poet something important but not something so important that people wouldn’t understand unless they too are a great poet.

He even says that they enjoy the same things as everyone else, revealing that he and other great poets aren’t constantly on some higher up wavelength of thinking. Then he goes on about the Supremes and how there doesn’t have to be one single Supreme because there is not one single way to see things ever. He tells us that one opinion doesn’t have to override another.

Whitman seems to be taking a stance that the previous poets we’ve read about haven’t. He talks about equality and connecting the past, present, and future. I enjoyed reading about what makes a great poet in his opinion.

Thoreau’s “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” & “Spring”

Before I bring up my quotes from the two pieces, I can’t help but make a connection using one of my favorite bands.  In “Spring,” Thoreau describes for us the process of winter becoming spring and how that makes him feel. On page 2021 he states, “I looked out the window, and lo! where yesterday was cold gray ice there lay the transparent pond already calm and full of hope…” This, along with several other instances, show how Thoreau views the new season and all of the hop it brings. That reminded me of a part of a song that I like, Winter Winds by Mumford & Sons. The line says:

And if your strife strikes at your sleep

remember spring swaps snow for leaves.

You’ll be happy and wholesome again

when the city clears and sun ascends.

After these lines, the song builds up with the use of trumpets, and the effect is extremely hopeful. In the music video, they even have parts where the band is being one with nature. Immediately, my mind wandered to this when I read “Spring” even if the rest of the song doesn’t relate as well. Though there is a hopeful tone throughout the entirety of the song.

Beyond that long ramble, the actual quote that struck me from “Spring” is on page 2027.

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.

I really liked this quote, particularly the second part of it, because it addresses something that many people can relate to, including myself. Once we find ourselves getting into a specific routine, it can be hard to come out of that because we start to build strict comfort zones. But what I find most intriguing about this sentence is how Thoreau uses the word “insensibly.” Is it insensitive to ourselves? The people around us? If he is talking about the self then it’s almost an encouraging line because it’s as if Thoreau is urging us to think of ourselves and have respect for ourselves because to fall into an easy path won’t bring us to the success we are capable of if we instead did something different for a change.

This explanation could be true if we look at the first part of the quote as well. He’s said that he moved out of the woods because he has more lives to live, and this might be a hint at his way of not staying on his beaten path. By living different lives he could be experiencing more of life and nature in a different way. I just like that Thoreau addresses this natural human tendency because it’s not necessarily something I think about all the time.

In the other piece, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” there is a line on page 2002 that I enjoy.

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.

This quote stuck out to me probably because I try in my own life to not get stressed or worry about too many problems/assignments at once. I always think to myself that I will either get something done or I won’t, and I probably will. If I don’t then I still probably won’t die. Of course, this is easy for some people and extremely hard for others, but I like Thoreau’s instance on simplicity and keeping affairs to a minimum. Often, people get so preoccupied by all of their problems that it takes away from enjoying one’s self. I relate it back to the quote from “Spring” because if we are constantly worried then we will never get off the beaten path that he mentions.

Going off of this, I also liked a quote on the next page that sort of related. “Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.” I think this is applicable to modern times especially because everyone is concerned with their own lives and how they can advance and get ahead of everyone else. Sometimes it’s okay to just slow down and take a breather and get off the beaten path.

Margaret Fuller from “Women in the 19th Century”

I thought this was an interesting essay about women, written in a unique way. I especially enjoyed the historical aspects as well as Fuller’s mention of the Roman gods (1959). That part where she brings up Proclus’s ideas about power and spheres was something i never would have thought of while writing about this topic. But the part that was most memorable for me was on page 1947 where Fuller includes the conversation about the man discussing a woman in the household.

“Have you ever asked her whether she was satisfied with these indulgences?”

“No, but I know she is. She is too amiable to wish what would make me unhappy, and too judicious to wish to step beyond the sphere of her sex. I will never consent to have our peace disturbed by an such discussion,”

Then the conversation continues when he says, “Am I not the head of the house?” She says, “You are not the head of your wife. God has given her a mind of her own.” And he says, “I am the head and she the heart.”

I thought this bit of dialogue demonstrated the problem the author wanted to explain. It says a lot about the time that the male cannot see the woman as anything more than the “heart.” He doesn’t see her as his equal and he ignores the fact that she has a mind of her own because woman weren’t thought of as intelligent or powerful in that time. I like the comparison of the heart and the head because usually those two part of the human body are thought of as being equally important and working together. They may oppose each other, but they often go hand in hand. The way the comparison is used here is in a negative way, though the male may not even realize this. He believes it should be an honor for the woman to be the heart, but in reality they should both play heart and head equally in order to create a marriage of equality. Each one should possess head and heart and neither should be more dominant than the other.

Those ideas relate to the second quote that I felt contributed to the main point of the article.

Yet, then and only then, will mankind be ripe for this, when inward and outward freedom for Woman as much as for Man shall be acknowledged as a right, not yielded as a concession.

I liked this quote because it could almost be a response to the former quote where the man and woman are discussing the idea of consent. The quote doesn’t say that a woman should hold more power over man or that a woman is more important. It says that they should both be acknowledged as equals because being equals would be a basic human right rather than something to consent to. This reminded me of the head and heart idea and how woman and man should build each other up as well as build off of each other. Each sex is its own entity, independent of the other. That doesn’t mean one has to be inferior to the other, but that they should each recognize that they are their own person and own mind.  Then men will stop assuming things about a woman’s feelings or mind and understand that they are allowed to think and have opinions just as strongly as a man.