The Yellow Wallpaper Essay

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Trapped and Unreliable
The two short stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Cask of Amontillado” Edgar Allan Poe are stories that appear to be totally different from each other, but are actually very similar; one of those similarities is the theme of entrapment the stories show entrapment on both a physical and a mental level. We see in these two stories individuals that are not only trapped physically but trapped mentally within their own minds not able to free themselves from the chains that are holding them; these circumstances show us that both of the main characters in these stories are unreliable. The theme of entrapment that is shared by both of these stories really sets the stage for both of them it defines the plot and really is the center of both of these stories. “The Yellow Wallpaper”, concentrates on the narrator’s deep depression and her struggle to get better. The narrator spends her summer vacation confined in a nursery on the top floor of a mansion. This is in an attempt to cure her illness by her husband John, who is a doctor. The room has barred windows on all sides and yellow wallpaper with “sprawling flamboyant patterns” (Gilman 766). The narrator at first is in disgust with the wallpaper and thinks it is an artistic sin. Then with nothing to do, and her imagination running free, she turns her imagination onto the wallpaper. She uses the wallpaper as a form of entertainment and tries to figure out the pattern. The central symbol of the short story is the wallpaper. The meaning behind the wallpaper represents the narrator’s entrapment and her struggle with depression. Armstrong 2

The yellow wallpaper acts like a mental entrapment for the main character. At the end of the story, the main character rips down the yellow wallpaper to release the woman behind the paper. This was symbolic because even though she saw a woman, this woman was her. When the narrator was angry she put that onto the wallpaper, so that...
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