Comparison Between the Yellow Wallpaper and Tell-Tale Hearts

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Jaime Macias
Professor Whalen
English 1B
22 October 2012
Critical Thinking Log 2: Short Story #2
Madness within the human psyche goes hand and hand when the names Edgar Allen Poe and Charlotte Perkins Gilman are spoken. The stories “The Tell-Tale Heart,” by Edgar Allen Poe and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman are both prime examples of how 19th century authors provoked the ideas of paranoia and mental deterioration within troubled narrators. These disorders can be compared in reference to when each character makes its discovery, the similarities can be drawn from discovering these comparisons in mental state, and then differences between “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” can be broadcasted. In “Tell-Tale Heart,” Poe’s story through the eyes of an obsessive madman, this is very similar to the protagonist in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman. Because of the narrators’ delusional states, it makes it difficult to differentiate between actual events or from those that occur through the distraught mental state of each narrator. Each character discovers and comes to admittance of their mental disability at different intervals of the stories. “The Tell-Tale Heart” has madness declared at the very beginning of the story when the narrator proclaims “…I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them.” (Poe 81). In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman gradually develops the obsession and the disorder in the narrator’s mental state. The narrator describes the house they have moved into for the summer in the beginning as being, “The most beautiful place!” “It is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village.” (Gilman 88). As the narrator examines every inch of the house, she comes to the wallpaper and that’s when the obsession begins. “I never saw a worse paper in my life.” She continues by stating “One of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.”...
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