Comparison and Contrast of the Yellow Wallpaper and the Rose for Emily

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Paris Claypool
Eng 120
Essay 1
06/12/2010

A Rose for Emily and The Yellow Wallpaper

“A Rose for Emily’’ By William Faulkner and “The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” are two short stories that both incorporate qualities of similarities and difference. Both of the short stories are about how and why these women changed for lunacy. These women are forced into solitude because of the fact that they are women. Emily’s father rejects all of her mates; the husband of Gilman Narrator (John) isolates her from stimulation of any kind. Emily is a recluse trapped in a depreciated home and the narrator in Gilman’s story is a delusional woman confined to her bedroom. These stories both have numerous similarities in characterization, setting, and symbolism. A major difference of these two short stories is the point of view they were written in. “A Rose for Emily” is written in third person and “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written in first person point of view. These Two women are driven insane because they feel confined by the men in their lives. They retreat into their own respective worlds as an escape from reality.

“A Rose for Emily” is a short story of isolation, loss, gossip, the conflict of old and new, and evens the possibility of murder. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is partly autobiographical and illustrates the fight for selfhood by a woman in an oppressed environment. She suffers a nervous breakdown from the confining pressures of her position compared to men. Both Female Characters suffer from maintaining an image, role and ideal that is imposed on them by men in high societies. Finally, "A Rose for Emily" and "The Yellow Wallpaper", are two similar stories in that they both deal with two women who are mentally and emotionally ill. Although, the stories are similar they have their own twists. Where "A Rose for Emily" is more gothic, dark, suicidal, and psychotic, "The Yellow Wallpaper", seems a bit more wild, loud, colorful and schizophrenic. Both of the characters are ill and in lack of receiving the help that they so desperately need.

The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” also suffers from the inability to handle her reality. She cannot accept the reality of being controlled and confined by men. Her husband and her brother are both physician. It author Perkins Gilman suffered through postpartum Depression and was also treated. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the woman is nameless. She feels as if she has no identity or control over her life, hindering her capacity for true expression of self. When the narrators become excited and hysterical about her confinement the men around her prescribe rest. They don’t understand confinement; lack of living is what is causing her frustration. Her husband rented a mansion for the summer so she can recuperate. She sits in an upstairs room, which use to be a nursery. While restricted from activity, she becomes obsessed with peeling yellow wallpaper. Secretly, she writes in her diary. She is supervised by her husband sister Jennie, and the nanny that tends to their baby.

In “A Rose for Emily”, the details about the atmosphere and environment seems as if “Emily: is a lonely woman with little confidence and low self-esteem. Miss Emily is portrayed with high statuses and while she did carry herself with dignity, people in the community only gave her respect based on fear of what she could do to them. The author William Faulkner gives hints that lead up to the shocking revelation of Emily’s character. It was not until her death when her true character was revealed when the skeleton of her lover Homer Baron is discovered in an upstairs room in her house. Not only did Emily Poison him, but gray hairs was found next to his skeleton, revealing that she had been sleeping with a corpse for years. People thought that anyone in their right mind would not do such a thing as sleep with a corpse, especially for that long. Emily's...
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