Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Tell-Tale Heart

analytical Essay
1673 words
1673 words

Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Tell-Tale Heart

Compare the portrayal and use of madness in The Yellow Wallpaper by

Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.

Which story did you prefer and why?

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Tell-Tale

Heart by Edgar Allen Poe both describe characters who in the opinion

of other people are insane. The characters' hysterical behaviour due

to their insanity is depicted as the stories progress. The Yellow

Wallpaper was written for a reason to demonstrate how women were

treated in society in the 19th Century. The Tell-Tale heart was

written primarily for the purpose of entertainment.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Tell-Tale

Heart by Edgar Allen Poe have both been written in the first person.

This is for a number of important reasons. In both stories the main

character's descent into insanity is effectively portrayed by the

character's increasingly irrational behaviour and neurotic thoughts.

If the books had not been written in the 1st person then the reader

would not know the character's feelings and reactions to events in the

books. By writing the stories in the first person, the reader is able

to step inside the mind of the character and experience what they

think. Both the stories rely on being written in the first person and

would not work if they had not been written like this.

The Yellow Wallpaper is written in a diary form with entries being

added at different intervals: " We have been here two weeks, and I

haven't felt like writing before, since that first day." It is an

account of the character's most personal emotions during the period of

time. She confides in her diary and...

... middle of paper ...

...erred The Tell-Tale Heart for

the following reasons. Firstly I found the woman's account in The

Yellow Wallpaper, although interesting, a little too emotional and

personal to feel comfortable for me to relate to. This may be a gender

response. On the other hand, I found that I could relate more easily

to the dramatic qualities in The Tell-Tale Heart and the progress

towards the final denouement better captured my imagination. This

story also felt more timeless which makes it far easier to relate to.

Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Tell-Tale Heart." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 7th ed. New York: Longman, 1999. 33-37.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper." The Norton Introduction To Literature. Eds. Jerome Beaty and J. Paul Hunter. 7th Ed. New York, Norton, 1998. 2: 630-642.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that if you still think me mad, you will think so no.
  • Analyzes how assures the reader: "how, then am i mad?"
  • Narrates how they can't lock the door when they creep by daylight. they cannot do it at night.
  • Analyzes how the man talks about being ill and how he knows people use his illness.
  • Analyzes how an old man's eye haunted them day and night. he had the eye of a ghost.
  • Opines that she had to creep over him every time.
  • Analyzes how the creepy creep creeps around the side of the room.
  • Introduces edgar allan poe's "the tell-tale heart" in literature: an introduction to fiction, poetry, and drama.
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