Alienation into Insanity in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper and William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

Alienation into Insanity in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper and William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

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Alienation caused from the dominant patriarchal society in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," and William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily", forces both protagonists into insanity. The narrator placed in solitary confinement by her husband, Emily Grieson’s overprotective father and both women’s obsession result in their madness.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman revolves around a woman’s struggle within a patriarchal society. The story is taking place in the 1920s, where men considered themselves to be superior to women because of the role they played in the society; protector and provider of women. This male dominance led the narrator from “The Yellow Wallpaper” into loneliness and eventually to a place of no return. The alienation is shown in terms of the setting, "The most beautiful place! It is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village." The house that the couple rent for three months represents the woman’s physical imprisonment and symbolizes her isolation. Moreover, the nursery that John recommends his wife to live in includes many confining elements. The bars on windows, bedstead nailed down, and a gate at the top of the stairs suggest an unsafe place. The narrator’s preference of living in the downstairs room is undermined by John’s control over her. Furthermore, John puts his wife into an environment with no communication, making her socially isolated. The protagonist is home alone most of the time while John is at work. She is not allowed to raise her own baby, and Jennie, John's sister, is occupied with her job. This causes loneliness and leaves the protagonist overwhelmed of her mental state. Since she has been advised the rest cure, she spends the m...


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...by the male dominant society. They are written during a time period when women were not viewed as important as men. The narrator form the yellow wallpaper is suffering from post-natal depression and has been recommended the rest cure by her husband and her brother, both physicians. Instead of curing her it worsened her condition. The protagonist did try to convince her husband about what she would prefer but she could not overcome the powerful authority figure. The narrator is restricted from working, writing, which leads to her obsession with the yellow wallpaper and suffocates her into madness. Similarly, in “A rose for Emily”, the protagonist is kept away from the outside world because her father makes her believe that she is better than the townspeople. Her father keeps her in the house as his possession which results in her obsession with Homer and insanity.

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