Empathy In The Yellow Wallpaper

1311 Words6 Pages
Just like everything on this earth, nature, situations, and people, we are all moved by a trigger. That trigger, mathematically speaking can be referred as the independent variable. The independent variable impacts and has the power to change the dependent variable. In the story of The Yellow Wallpaper, several apparent triggers were illustrated in the story, which made it difficult to understand who was the real opponent in the story. But after analyzing the innermost thoughts of the narrator, the main opponent did not necessarily play the bad guy in the plot, but the fact that he held the remote control to turn the situation from bad to good and from good to bad made him the main opponent in the story. In this case, John is the one holding…show more content…
In the story the narrator expresses numerous times the way she feels during her condition and the only response that we get from John is, “There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy. Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?”(652). John simply refuses to put himself in her wife’s shoes and share at least a small portion of what she is feeling. Also, we see in the story how the narrator feels to this lack of empathy coming from her own husband. In page 649 she says, “John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him.” John’s lack of empathy does not let him analyze and access what is going on in the mind of her wife. Instead, the narrator is suffering while John is walking around with the idea that there is no reason for her to suffer. Lastly, the narrator shares how she feels to the idea of wanting to tell John about the haunting wallpaper when she says, “I had no intention of telling him it was because of the wall-paper- he would make fun of me. He might even want to take me away”(653). When the narrator gets to the point of not wanting to share something with her husband because he will make fun of her, that just shows no empathy whatsoever. Empathy is the understanding and the exchange of feelings with someone else. At…show more content…
John, the husband of the narrator, believes based on his professional knowledge that it is better for her to stay in a room until she makes a sense of improvement. The authoritative role that John plays in the story makes him the independent variable due to his actions of manipulation, lack of empathy, and absence of concern over what her wife needs to say. Even though the narrator wants to be heard, she remains with a submissive attitude throughout the story making her the dependent variable by leaving her entire illness inside John’s hands[responsibility]. John at this point has the power to take her condition to a total different direction but instead decides to ignore what she has to say and completely rely on his assumptions, which evidently lead to a tragic
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