Swimmer and Yellow Wallpaper

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Asim Soomro
The Significant emotional changes in the Major Characters of “The Swimmer” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” Cheever’s “The Swimmer” and Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” use surrounding objects to bring about the major characters emotional deconstruction. “The Swimmer” portrays Neddy’s transition from a state of optimism to despondence through the use swimming pools. Neddy also views the swimming pools as a source of comfort, but at the same time encounters disconcerting ones. “The Yellow Wallpaper” on the other hand, uses artistic images of the wallpaper to bring about feelings of frustration in the narrator. Moreover, the wallpaper facilitates her final step into insanity. The objects employed by both stories are the agents, which bring about crucial sentimental changes in the major characters. “The Swimmer” uses swimming pools to highlight Neddy’s change in behavior from being hopeful to feeling downcast. Neddy’s journey through the array of swimming pools gave him a sense of purpose as he compares himself to a “Pilgrim, explorer and a man with a destiny” (Cheever 206). Neddy does however encounter certain swimming pools, which bring about feelings of despair. “[The Halloran’s] dark water” (Cheever 210) itself was able to dishearten Neddy, indicating how the swimming pools have a profound impact on him. The effect of this observation on Neddy is crucial as it weakens his confidence in the chain of his swimming pools. It provides a different perspective for the aim of his journey, where a downcast feeling contradicts his idealistic viewpoint. At the same time, the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” finds the wallpaper frustrating. The image of the “Two bulbous eyes star[ing] at you upside down” (Gilman 78) seems to anger her greatly as she cannot seem to grasp the idea of the “impertinence and everlastingness” (Gilman 78) of the wallpaper. The wallpaper seems to bring out these detrimental emotions in the narrator, which initiates her obsession with it....
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