The Relation Between the Setting And the Character In The Yellow Wallpaper and Big Two-Hearted River

The Relation Between the Setting And the Character In The Yellow Wallpaper and Big Two-Hearted River

Length: 607 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Relation Between the Setting And the Character In The Yellow Wallpaper and Big Two-Hearted River


The aim of this paper is to analyze the importance and relation of the
setting and characters in the two short stories: "The Yellow
Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Ernest Hemingway's "Big
Two-Hearted River".

The setting in "The Yellow Wallpaper" helps illustrate the theme of
solitary confinement and exclusion from the public resulting in
insanity. The house rented by the characters for the summer as well as
the surrounding scenery suggest an isolated environment. Because of
its vast "colonial mansion" look, its age and state of degradation, a
supernatural hypothesis is implied: the place is haunted by ghosts.
The nursery room with barred windows provides an image of loneliness
and seclusion experienced by the protagonist. If Gilman's story could
be thought as a house, structurally it is nearly all interior, rarely
leaving the scene of the bedroom and emphasizing the interior /
exterior division. The centre of the space is the bedroom itself, with
its hideous wallpaper that has a "recurrent spot where the pattern
lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside
down.". The unclean, "repellent, almost revolting" wallpaper, full of
patterns depicting extreme confusion, with a humanoid hiding behind
it, contributes to the narrator's isolation and intensifies her
illness to the point when insanity takes over.

In "Big Two-Hearted River" the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan, consisting of the forests, river, meadow and swamp, is the
background for the protagonist Nick Adams's solitary struggling ...


... middle of paper ...


...he cruel world. He creates his own paradise on earth,
assessing his situation with the word "good" in the same way as God
assessed His creation in the Old Testament.

In conclusion, the way of presenting setting and characters in both
stories is similar to some extent. First of all, Jane and Nick's
experiences and feelings are expressed through the setting which
influences their behaviour and carries symbols for them. While the
setting in "The Yellow Wallpaper" indicates the narrator's
imprisonment and gradual deterioration of her mental health, in "Big
Two-Hearted River" it helps the protagonist recover from the traumatic
past and escape to the better calmer world. Both characters in their
specific way make an effort to substitute the uncomfortable reality
with something which could enable them to forget their pains.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Depression In The 1800s in Rose for Emily and Yellow Wallpaper

- Dealing with Depression in the 1800’s William Faulkner and Charlotte Gilman are two well known writers for intriguing novels of the 1800’s. Their two eccentric pieces, "A Rose for Emily" and "The Yellow Wallpaper" are equally alluring. These authors and their works have been well recognized, but also critized. The criticism focuses on the society that is portrayed in these novels. The modern readers of today’s society are resentful to this dramatic society. These two novels are full of tradition, rebellion and the oppression over women’s rights....   [tags: Compare and Contrast]

Free Essays
1208 words (3.5 pages)

Analysis of Two Writings: The Yellow Wallpaper and Memory, Creation, and Writing

- The writings I chose to analyze and relate to each other within this assignment are two pieces, which were written by two very different women. The first essay, I would like to introduce is an article written by Toni Morrison, which was published in the New York magazine "Thought" in 1984. In "Memory, Creation, and Writing", Morrison inspects and analyzes what driving force is necessary in order for a writer to be able to unfold his/her creativity to its highest potential. She states techniques and strategies, which she has found helpful throughout her development to a world -renowned writer....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Free Essays
1326 words (3.8 pages)

Ernest Hemingway's Big Two-Hearted River Essay

- The world of Ernest Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River” exists through the mostly unemotional eyes of the character Nick. Stemming from his reactions and the suppression of some of his feelings, the reader gets a sense of how Nick is living in a temporary escape from society and his troubles in life. Despite the disaster that befell the town of Seney, this tale remains one of an optimistic ideal because of the various themes of survival and the continuation of life. Although Seney itself is a wasteland, the pine plain and the campsite could easily be seen as an Eden, lush with life and ripe with the survival of nature....   [tags: Big Two Hearted River Essays]

Better Essays
1508 words (4.3 pages)

Women and Fiction in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Women and Fiction in The Yellow Wallpaper      Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a deceptively simple story.  It is easy to follow the thirteen pages of narrative and conclude the protagonist as insane.  This is a fair judgement, after all no healthy minded individual becomes so caught up with "hideous" and "infuriating" wallpaper to lose sleep over it, much less lock herself in a room to tear the wallpaper down.  To be able to imagine such things as "broken necks" and "bulbous eyes" in the wallpaper is understandable, irrational and erratic designs can form rational patterns in our minds, but to see a woman locked inside of the "bars" of the wallpaper and attempt to re...   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1322 words (3.8 pages)

The Nightmare of The Yellow Wallpaper

- "The Yellow Wallpaper" was one of the first works to chronicle the process of going insane. Its harrowing quality derives from the fact that the author knows whereof she speaks. But even though it is based on Gilman's own breakdown, the story is crafted as a work of art, because the nightmarish motif of the yellow wallpaper itself serves as a metaphor for the disintegration of the protagonist's mind. The narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" has no name. Generally, when the protagonist of a first-person story remains unnamed throughout the work, we take this to mean that the character represents all humankind....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

The Deeper Meaning of The Yellow Wallpaper

- Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," is the disheartening tale of a woman suffering from postpartum depression. Set during the late 1890s, the story shows the mental and emotional results of the typical "rest cure" prescribed during that era and the narrator’s reaction to this course of treatment. It would appear that Gilman was writing about her own anguish as she herself underwent such a treatment with Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell in 1887, just two years after the birth of her daughter Katherine....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper, 2014]

Better Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

Gilman Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Gilman Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper      Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," is the disheartening tale of a woman suffering from postpartum depression. Set during the late 1890s, the story shows the mental and emotional results of the typical "rest cure" prescribed during that era and the narrator’s reaction to this course of treatment. It would appear that Gilman was writing about her own anguish as she herself underwent such a treatment with Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell in 1887, just two years after the birth of her daughter Katherine....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1293 words (3.7 pages)

Social Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Social Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper   “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a symbolic tale of one woman’s struggle to break free from her mental prison.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman shows the reader how quickly insanity takes hold when a person is taken out of context and completely isolated from the rest of the world.  The narrator is a depressed woman who cannot handle being alone and retreats into her own delusions as opposed to accepting her reality.  This mental prison is a symbol for the actual repression of women’s rights in society and we see the consequences when a woman tries to free herself from this social slavery.                The story unfolds as the nameless narrator’s condi...   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Understanding The Yellow Wallpaper

- Understanding The Yellow Wallpaper      There are more reported cases of clinical depression in women than their are in men. There is also, generalized in western cultures, a stereotype that women are fragile and should be more dedicated to maintaining the home, doing feminine things, that they shouldn't work, and be discouraged from intellectual thinking. In the Victorian period (1837-1901) aside from women's suffragette movements the Victorian woman usually upheld this stereotype of a well behaved wife, more or less a possession then an individual....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

Rewriting The Yellow Wallpaper

- Rewriting  "The Yellow Wallpaper"        Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman rank as two of the most outstanding champions of women's rights who were active during the nineteenth century. Both professed a deep and personal faith and both were wise enough and secure enough to develop their own ideas and relationship with their creator. In 1895 Stanton published The Woman's Bible, her personal assault on organized religion's strangle-hold on the women of the world. Gilman published her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" in 1892....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
2239 words (6.4 pages)