Two short stories that share both similarities and differences are “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. The saltcellars and differences between these short stories Is evident upon close examination of point of view, symbolism and theme. Both of these stories examine the life of women who live under the thumbs of men. These stories were both written during a time when women were seen as inferior to men. The stories tell about protagonists who both live a recluse lifestyle because of the men around them.
The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian tells the story of an unnamed protagonist who suffers from some type of illness that occur after the birth of her child. Her husband, and brother are doctors and do not think there is anything wrong with her that a little rest and relaxation will not cure. He insists she isolate herself from all types of physical and mental stimulation until she is completely well again. They move Into a temporary place until she becomes well. The husband locks the protagonist In a room that resembles a Jail cell. It has yellow wallpaper ailing off the walls with indistinguishable patterns.
The protagonist starts a diary. The diary passages tell the story of a woman who Is profoundly affected by the yellow wallpaper, and whose mental stability continues to decline. She eventually sees a pattern looking like bars and eventually a woman locked in the cell. The diary also reveals the desire for the woman to take the wallpaper down and free the woman she imagines is trapped, but also to free herself. Two days before the end of the stay in the temporary home the woman loses her mind completely and walks aimlessly round the room, becoming the trapped woman. A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner opens with a funeral for Emily Grievers. Emily lived an Isolated life and no one had been In her house for the past decade. Emails house was once one of utmost beauty In the town, but now was Just old. The town stopped billing Emily for taxes way back In the eighteen hundreds. The younger generation was not pleased with this previous agreement and decided to try to collect the money she owed. Everyone felt sympathy for Emily when her dad died. People did not think there was anything wrong with her except that she did not ant to let go of her dad.
After the death of her boyfriend, Emily rarely leaves her home. Emily ages and eventually dies in bedroom that has been unoccupied for many years. After that, the townspeople enter the room that had been closed off for four decades as far as they knew (Faulkner, 2008) “The Yellow Wallpaper” is told from the point of view of the female character. The readers are told about her hopes, dreams, and thoughts. The reader Is taken along with her as she travels the road to Insanity. The reader Is aware of the change In her thought processes as she abandons reality In hopes of gaining freedom.
The narrator Is described a sick woman who has been abandoned and denied access to the help she needs. The reader is able to feel her desperation and connect with her in a way that was not the reader and that makes it possible to empathic with the character. “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written by a woman making this struggle more personal and relatable. Charlotte Perkins Gillian herself struggled with being a woman during this period. She uses her own inner anguish to help the readers understand the female character’s point of view. The reader identifies with the woman and feels Orr for her.
On the other hand, in “A Rose for Emily/’ is told from the point of view of an outsider. She is a recluse who commits a terrible crime. The reader is never told Miss Emily thoughts and therefore is left to speculate about what she was thinking. They are never allowed to go deep into her insanity. She is described as “a tradition, a duty, and a care, a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town (Faulkner 548). ” She seems to be a cold, hard woman who avoids any type of human contact. The harsh way Miss Emily is described may lead to hatred from some readers.
The readers may also not have sympathy for her because she is described as such a cold woman. William Faulkner was aware of the feelings of society towards women, but he could not completely relate to the difficulties women faced during this time. During Faulkner life women were seen as weaker than men, and they were expected to be submissive to their husbands. As a man during this time he was unable to separate himself from the reality he was living in to write “A Rose for Emily’. He never had a man trap him, or keep him from reaching his dreams.
He never had the experiences a woman had during this time. The point of view of “A Rose for Emily’ is the same way Faulkner felt towards the women in his life. He felt like an outsider to the females. He could only imagine what the females around him thought and felt. The point of view and the way the stories are told is clearly dependent on the gender of the authors. If Faulkner had been a female Miss Emily may have been more relatable than she is in a story written by a man. The reader may have been made more aware of her thoughts and feelings and even understood why she committed the crime.
She may have been seen as a desperate and lonely woman who omitted the crime because she was desperate to escape the isolation. If the author of “A Yellow Wallpaper” were a man maybe John would have been portrayed as more of a hero. He may have been portrayed as a devoted husband who gave everything he could to try to help his sick wife. The narrator may be seen as a burden to the husband who is trying his best to help his wife. Both of these stories are about desperate, isolated women, but the point of view and the author’s perception have a huge impact on the way the women are portrayed in the stories.
A common theme for “A Rose for Emily and “The Yellow Wallpaper is oppression. Many men during the nineteenth century had an oppressive nature toward the females in their lives. Both “A Rose for Emily’ and “The Yellow Wallpaper” show how oppression can eventually lead to depression and without treatment damage the female protagonists. Each protagonist, the writer of the Journal in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Emily in “A Rose for Emily’ were subjected to so much isolation that they both began to become depressed.
The reader is aware of the depression, but the people closest to them in the stories are completely clueless. Emily is always was crazy then”, referring to her refusal to admit the death of her father. The woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” says, “he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do,” when describing her husband’s lack of acknowledgement to her depression. Both of these women were left alone to face their problems. One of the main sources of their depression was the men in their lives. For Emily, it was her father who kept men from calling on her.
The narrator recalls “all the young men her father had driven away. ” Emily suffered so severely from this she never married, and later poisoned her boyfriend and then kept the corpse so he is unable to leave her. Emily father was described as a dominating man. The narrator explains how the town viewed things “her father a sprawled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her,” eluded to his oppressive nature. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” it was the woman’s husband, who also happened to be her doctor.
Her husband locked her in a room claiming she was not sick, but did have “a slight hysterical tendency”, leaving her to hallucinate and believe she sees a woman trapped behind the ugly, tattered, yellow wallpaper. These hallucinations serve as a symbol of the oppression and her desire to escape the control of her husband. A quote in “A Rose for Emily’ is “She would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people do,” Emily hung on to her father by refusing to acknowledge his death and also by remaining in the hose she grew up in. She later decayed from the oppression that stole her freedom.
The main character in “The Yellow Wallpaper” hung on to her husband because according to her, “it is so hard to talk with John about my case, because he is so wise, and because he loves me so”. She depends on him and also fears him too. He took her freedom away and left her mentally worn down too. These stories talk about men who still ad old-fashioned beliefs and convictions at a time when the attitudes and beliefs of the world were changing. The women suffered from the way they were treated by the men they were supposed to trust and love. The setting of “A Rose for Emily’ is a town made up by Faulkner.
It takes place in Jefferson, Handicapped County, Mississippi. It takes place at the county seat of Jefferson. While Faulkner made up the actual town, it can be seen as a typical town in the south around the mid to late eighteen hundreds through the mid nineteen hundreds. This story focuses on the end of the slavery era and the confusion that ensued when that all ended. It also looks at the future generations and how they dealt with the way of life that existed before they were in charge. The setting in “The Yellow Wallpaper” helps to illustrate the attitude.
It helps to show the different elements that hint at the isolation. “It’s a fancy house, yes, but more saliently, it stands back away from the road and contains many “locks” and “separate little houses” (Perkins, 2008, p. 409). Makes one realize everything is isolated even the house. The narrator is locked too large room with many windows, but the windows are barred to keep her trapped. John also seems to refer to her like an infant saying things like she is a “blessed little goose” (Perkins, 2008, p. 410). The room she is trapped in was once a nursery too.
Also, the story was written during a time when women were seen as inferior to men. The setting in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian is a colonial mansion that the main character sees as a good place for her to recover from her healthy again. She is not fond of the room. It used to be a nursery. The “condition” of the woman becomes worse and leads to insanity after she is confined to the room covered in ugly, tattered, yellow wallpaper. After spending countless hours and days in the room the woman becomes obsessed with the patterns on the wallpaper.
She begins to imagine a woman trapped behind bars in the paper. Eventually, she slips into insanity and begins to believe she is the woman trapped behind the bars in the paper, desperate to escape. On the other hand, “A Rose for Emily’ is set during the Civil War. The story is not told in chronological order like “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian. The small town where the story takes place is an important part of the story. The Grievers family lived in the same small town for any generations. The townspeople did not like the Grievers family because they were snobbish.
Emily was not able to escape the ideas the townspeople had about her and her family. They always saw her as a snobbish Grievers. The townspeople decided to let Emily not pay taxes after the death of her father. They wanted her to be financially secure since she was on her own now. The environment she was in did not allow for change so she had no choice but to continue to be snobbish towards the townspeople and keep to herself. William Faulkner was born into a traditional family from the South. He grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. He served in the Royal Air Force during the First World War.
Most of the stories he wrote from a farm in Oxford. Faulkner characters, while made up are based on the everyday characters of historical advancement and decline of the South. Faulkner stories are based upon the historical drama that was actually happening around him in his Southern Mississippi town. It talks about the changes that were happening and the legacy left behind from older generations. He talked about how the younger people were adapting to such drastic changes in the South (“William Faulkner Biography”, 2013). Charlotte Gillian Perkins was born in the town of Hartford, New England.