Hamlet and the Yellow Wallpaper

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The Nature of Insanity in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Hamlet”

There are many different events in a person’s life that could lead them to insanity. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” you are dealing with a woman who is a victim of male over-protectiveness and isolation that eventually leads to her insanity. In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” you are dealing with a man who has to deal with his father’s death and rejection from the love of his life that eventually leads him to a form of insanity. Each character handles their situations differently, but it could have gone the other way had they chose to make different decisions.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman suffers from a nervous condition and is taken to a summer home to recover. Her husband, who is also a doctor, is very overprotective and believes that she is not capable of making decisions or taking care of herself. Her husband has practically locker her up inside of this house and is forcing her to depend on him for her survival. He refuses to let her see her friends and tries to keep her away from anyone outside of this house. He convinces her that she is too sick to work, entertain, and take care of her child, and due to her loyalty and trust in her husband, she obeys him. He puts her in a room that has a bed nailed to the floor and unique wallpaper that becomes the focus of her attention.

This story is written in first person, which in turn makes the story very effective. Seeing the story unfold through her point of view is what makes it so convincing. It is easier to imagine her feeling of isolation and her great effort to feel normal and uncontrolled. This story reveals the vicious anger that is associated with the Narrator’s struggle to become free. She sees the wallpaper as something that is strangling and restraining her. This is where she begins to show signs of madness, and you can see her developing insanity turn into a form of rebellion and is a...
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