A Rose for Emily and The Yellow Wallpaper

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The stories, “A Rose for Emily” and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” both display how external dominance, isolation, and judgment from the outside world may cause one to lose their right mind. In both stories, the main characters begin to sink into further isolation from the outside world, leaving reality in the past.
The point of view of each story is told from a firsthand account of the events that occur. In “A Rose for Emily,” the story is told from an outsider’s point of view, someone who has watched and observed all that is written down. Perhaps the narrator is one of Emily’s past lovers or someone who has heard these stories simply from small town gossip. Either way, we immediately trust this narrator because they are speaking directly to the reader. Faulkner uses words such as “we” and “everybody,” a communal point of view. In doing so, the narrator automatically appears to be more reliable because this is what “everybody” thinks.
The Yellow Wallpaper” also has a first person narration. However, the story is told from the main characters diary. Everything that we read consists of Jane’s feelings, thoughts and consciousness, or unconsciousness. Since we are reading what Jane has written in her diary, the story is told in present tense.
The setting of “The Yellow Wallpaper” takes place in what I believe is a mental hospital. The reader quickly realizes the lack of stability that Jane possesses. Jane is given complete authority in the telling of the story, however in reality, she has very little control over what she’s allowed to do. John, her husband and physician, does not let Jane think for herself. “He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special attention” (Faulkner 341).
In both stori...

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...Jane had hung herself with the rope right in front of the door and she was “creeping” over him (John) with her shoulder against the wall, her neck bent looking over at him when he fainted.
I enjoyed reading and studying both of these stories in-depth. I appreciated how the authors took the main characters circumstances to an extreme and didn’t reveal the outcome until the very end. Both had the same cause (isolation) and effect (insanity), however both authors had their own interpretation for their stories. That’s one thing I enjoy most about fiction, two people can read the same story and have different interpretations, and nobody can tell you that one way is better than another.

Works Cited

Charters, Ann. "Part One: Stories." The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. By Charlotte P. Gilman and William Faulkner. Eighth ed. 314-51. Print.
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