Analysis Of ' The Yellow Wallpaper ' By Willa Cather

Analysis Of ' The Yellow Wallpaper ' By Willa Cather

Length: 1772 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

There are two stories this semester that have been particularly interesting. ‘Paul’s Case’ by Willa Cather is a turbulent story about Paul, a young man who eventually spirals downwards into his eventual suicide. ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story about a woman forced into the resting cure by means of her husband until being alone with her thoughts drives her to insanity. At face value, these stories have vastly different plots and outcomes. How are you able to compare stories with different plots? When the ideas behind the stories are similar, it becomes possible. These two stories have many parallels which will be discussed in detail throughout this essay.
The first element that is a parallel between the stories is that both ‘Paul’s Case’ and ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ are works of psychological realism. Psychological realism can be defined as “character-driven and place special emphasis on the interior life of the protagonist or other point-of-view characters” (Chegg). In ‘Paul’s Case’, while it is not written in first person and while that seems to disprove the classification of psychological realism, it does not. There are many passages that go into the inner workings of Paul’s mind, especially when he is enjoying pieces of the finer arts. In one section fairly early in the story, Cather writes “but the first sigh of the instruments seemed to free some hilarious and potent spirit from within him; something like the genie in the bottle found by the Arab fisherman. He felt a sudden zest for life; the lights danced before his eyes and the concert hall blazed into unimaginable splendor… gave himself up to the particular stimulus such personages always had for him.” (Cather 3). Throughout the book time and...


... middle of paper ...


...he stories as completely different. Through the genre the stories are written in, how both of the main characters are mentally unstable and trapped, and how both of the main characters’ rooms had yellow wallpaper; many parallels can be drawn. These parallels make the two stories more similar than one would think at face value. But why does this matter? It matters because it shows that mental illness can happen to anyone. In these stories it happens to a new mother and to a middle class teenager. In both of these stories, if their peers would have reached out and communicated openly to the main characters or if their peers had actually listened to them, one could say that the endings would be vastly different from the final published work. Both of these stories, in the end, bring up a dialogue that is still relevant even now in the 21st century after careful analysis.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis of Paul's Case by Willa Cather Essay example

- Analysis of Paul's Case by Willa Cather Willa Cather’s “Paul’s Case” is a story about a young 16 year-old man, Paul, who is motherless and alienated. Paul’s lack of maternal care has led to his alienation. He searches for the aesthetics in life that that he doesn’t get from his yellow wallpaper in his house and his detached, overpowering father figure in his life. Paul doesn’t have any interests in school and his only happiness is in working at Carnegie Hall and dreams of one-day living the luxurious life in New York City....   [tags: Paul's Case Willa Cather Literature Essays]

Better Essays
1076 words (3.1 pages)

Willa Cather's Short Story Paul's Case Essay example

- Willa Cather's Short Story "Paul's Case"      In Willa Cather’s short story Paul’s Case we learn of a young man who is fighting what he fears most: to be as common and plain as his world around him. How others perceive Paul only encourages him to fulfill his dream of escaping his monotonous lifestyle. Paul feels he is drowning in his everyday environment and his only breath of air is his savior: the theater.      Paul has very little interest in his class studies. This leaves him open to distraction and eventually criticism....   [tags: Willa Cather Paul's Case Essays]

Better Essays
957 words (2.7 pages)

Kate Chopin 's The Emerging Woman Essay

- Louisa May Alcott once said, “The emerging woman… will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied… strength and beauty must go together.” American men and women in the late 1800s to the early 1900s were expected to occupy separate spheres of society, with men leading a public life at work, and women leading a domestic life at home. Free time for women was to be spent taking care of the family, not socializing or indulging in luxury for oneself. However, women throughout the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century began to break away from their designated spheres and established feminist ideals that are still present in modern society....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

"The Garden Lodge" by Willa Cather Essay

- Cather's “The Garden Lodge” is about a woman named Caroline Noble whose husband, Howard, asked her if she would like to demolish their old garden lodge and replace it with a summer house. The conflict in the story is Caroline is not sure if she wants to knock down the old garden lodge because it brings back memories of when opera singer Raymond d'Esquerre, spent a month at their place. The resolution is that Caroline decides to go on with building the summer house and demolishing the garden lodge....   [tags: Willa Cather]

Better Essays
975 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about A Lost Lady By Willa Cather

- In many literary works, a common question is whether certain characters, scenes, and objects are simply just that or are instead symbols to further the author’s message. Women in particular are notable victims of this. Many literary works revolve around a woman but do not allow her to tell her own story and instead channel it through the eyes of a male protagonist. A Lost Lady by Willa Cather is one such novel. Cather’s work, however, serves as a deconstruction of its genre as the novel comes to the conclusion that its heroine is, in fact, better as a symbol....   [tags: Gender, Woman, Willa Cather, Human behavior]

Better Essays
2138 words (6.1 pages)

An Analysis of Paul's Case by Willa Cather Essay example

- An Analysis of Paul's Case In "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather, a young man named Paul is unhappy with his home and school life. He is happiest when he is at Carnegie Hall, where he works as an usher. When he is not physically at Carnegie Hall, his thoughts remain there causing his school work to suffer. When his father finds out about his problems in school he has Paul banned from Carnegie Hall, taken out of school, and put to work. One day, while on his way to make the company's deposit, Paul decides to take some of the money and go to New York to experience the life he feels he was destined for....   [tags: Willa Cather]

Free Essays
296 words (0.8 pages)

Willa Cather Describes Erotics of Place in her Novel, A Lost Lady Essay

- Willa Cather Describes Erotics of Place in her Novel, A Lost Lady To discover an erotics of place in Willa Cather's A Lost Lady, takes little preparation. One begins by simply allowing Sweet Water marsh to seep into one's consciousness through Cather's exquisite prose. Two paragraphs from the middle of the novel beckon us to follow Neil Herbert, now 20 years old, into the marsh that lies on the Forrester property. This passage, rich in pastoral beauty, embraces the heart of the novel-appearing not only at the novel's center point but enfolding ideas central to the novel's theme: An impulse of affection and guardianship drew Niel up the poplar-bordered road in the early light [....   [tags: Willa Cather, A Lost Lady]

Better Essays
2966 words (8.5 pages)

Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop Essay

- Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop A novel should be something that is easy to define. One would expect the novel to have a plot, a central theme, a central character and a consistent style. The truth is that all of these things are important but not specifically necessary. Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop cannot be easily classified as a novel in normal terms. It lacks a central plot that carries the work from beginning to some sort of an ending. It does, however, contain central characters, themes, and a clearly consistent style, but the story that is told consists of small vignettes....   [tags: Willa Cather Death Comes for the Archbishop]

Free Essays
419 words (1.2 pages)

Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop Essay

- Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop In a 1927 letter, Willa Cather wrote that her book, Death Comes for the Archbishop, that "many of the reviews of this book begin with the statement: 'This book is hard to classify.' Then why bother. Many more assert vehemently that it is not a novel. Myself, I prefer to call it a narrative." (On Writing 12). The questions pertaining to whether or not it is a novel or why does Cather herself call it a "narrative" can be strange ones. First, breaking down the question of if it was or wasn't a novel....   [tags: Willa Cather Death Comes for the Archbishop]

Free Essays
425 words (1.2 pages)

Essay about Willa Cather on Art

- Willa Cather on Art “Style is how you write, and you write well when you are interested. A writer’s own interest in the story is the essential thing. If there is a flash of warmth in him it is repeated in the reader. The emotion is bigger than style. I don’t think there is anything in ideas. When a young writer tells me he has an idea for a story, he means he has had an emotion that he wants to pass on. An artist has an emotion, and the first thing that he wants to do with it is to find some form to put it in, a design....   [tags: Authors Willa Cather Art Artistic Papers]

Better Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)