The main characters of the stories “The Metamorphosis” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” are both victims of social castigation that struggle with the effects of their transformations. They both feel trapped by certain parts of their former lives and become isolated because of their predicaments. While Gregor’s barrier comes with his inability to communicate with his family, the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” experiences entrapment because of her toxic marriage and her husband’s patria...
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...ion that these stories share is the existence of inferiority in the protagonists’ relationships. Gregor finds his “inadequacy” both in his social status and in his situation as a low-life form of nature. Gregor is undervalued and neglected by his family and the chief clerk before his metamorphosis because he is tied down both by his job and his family’s debt, allowing his lower-class status to become a heavy burden. After his metamorphosis, his family virtually abandons him, causing him to become even more depreciated than he was before. The woman encounters her inferiority in her dictatorial, patriarchal marriage. Her opinion is not valued by her husband because he views her as nothing more than an incompetent child. This common cultural theme of inferiority creates discontentment with the characters’ normal lives and spawns the need for their transformations.
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