22 November 2011
Main Character’s Outsider Theme
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator, Jane, is struggling to deal with her depression that she is suffering in a confined room that her husband, John put her in. John believes that this will cure Jane and make her better from her depression. Instead, Jane is slowly losing herself within the yellow wallpaper in the room causing her to become insane. Jane is not able to express her feelings with her husband or anyone else, but instead she bottles it up inside of her until she could no longer resist. The outsider theme is forced upon Jane from her husband’s way of treatment. “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner also portrays the outsider theme statues. Emily Grierson, the main protagonist, is a woman whom is isolated and slowly gone insane after her father’s death. The community of the town knows very little of Emily but only watches her from a distance and hear rumors about her. Emily has not been paying her taxes like the rest of the community because she is supposedly a woman of aristocracy, her family held her in high regards even though she is supposed to resume paying her taxes. Miss Emily is from a family with pride but she is isolating herself with the community and eventually kills Homer, the man that she loves. She has put the outsider theme onto herself even before her father’s death occurred. In both “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “A Rose for Emily”, the main character’s has shown their selves to have an outsider status from their psychological isolation, gender, and class. Jane, in “They Yellow Wallpaper”, exemplifies the outsider theme by her forced psychological isolation from the world. All of Jane’s worries, thoughts, and fears are recorded into her personal journal. With the treatment that she is receiving, her social isolation is causing her to lose herself with reality. Jane said, “I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless pattern to some sort of conclusion” (Gilman 930). Jane is completely isolated inside this old room John confines her within, with nothing left besides the disgusting yellow wallpaper. With no healthy activity and long period of time within a room, her imagination and fantasies are becoming her actuality of her treatment forced upon her. She wants to speak out to others to let them know what is on her mind but every time doing so, it would always be left unconcerned. “I thought it was a good time to talk so I told him that I really was not gaining here, and that I wished he would take me away.” (Gilman 932). Confined to the room, Jane is not able to switch rooms or leave the room without her husband’s permission. Since she is stuck in a room, she eventually descends into madness and her husband was able to witness the outcome. “Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him everytime!” (Gilman 937). Once John realizes what’s going on, he could not bear it anymore and faints at the sight of his wife going crazy from the isolation that is forced and put on her by him. The gender role of Jane in her society is of a woman, who has no rights to speak out on her opinions. As Gilman states, “I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort and here I am a comparative burden already!” (Gilman 928). The author uses this to show exactly how she is being restricted by her husband and many other men in her life. Times were different back then, and unfortunately women weren’t treated as fairly as men were. They were considered weak, fragile things that needed to be cared for by a man. As the author states, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency – what is one to do?” (Gilman 926). Jane is never given a chance to explain to John about her...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document