Comparison between The Yellow Wallpaper and A Rose for Emily

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Barbara Angelis stated “Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away” (Angelis, BrainyQuote). This statement reflects the theme of isolation and how one can truly understand themselves through self-reflection and time spent in loneliness. In the short stories, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, both female protagonists, experience a time of seclusion leading to self- realization. Hence, both of these pieces of literature illustrate the troubles of women in a male-dominated society. As a result, both characters experience oppression by overbearing male influences and are physically and emotionally isolated.
“A Rose for Emily” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” take place in an era that favours male hierarchy and ordains women by implying inferiority. In “A Rose for Emily”, the male is represented as very powerful and dominating, and in Emily’s case, it is her father. There is a brief description of him next to Emily that the narrator reveals, “Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door” (Faulkner, 142). This imagery of the father with the whip next to a fragile Emily against a white background helps the reader visualize the dominating nature of their relationship. Similarly, “The Yellow Wallpaper” conveys the inequalities that exist between men and women, the mistreatment and lack of respect women receive from the society. However, the discrimination of women is seen as a “condition” through the eyes of the narrator. Thus, she begins to belie...

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...te when it comes to emotions and each of the female characters are the product of male influences and much of their rage is intermixed with occasional feelings of love due to their lack of self-recognition.
In conclusion, both female protagonists from “A Rose for Emily” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” experience oppression from the dominant males in their lives which eventually causes them to be physically isolated from their contemporary world. Thus, their seclusion leads them to experience confusion and stifling emotions, while teaching them more about themselves and their inner thoughts.

Works Cited

Angelis, Barbara De. "Barbara De Angelis Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. .
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. Handout.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. Handout.
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