Many texts written in the nineteenth century have a very apparent theme of power. Authority can be seen very differently depending on the view of the transcript the audience is presented with. By looking at different transcripts within the text the reader has more realistic exposure to the resistance of power in that text. This paper will prove that transcripts of differing views allow for different interpretations of the power struggle itself. Using James C. Scott this paper will examine the transcripts of both Charlotte Perkins Gilman's, "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Herman Melville's "Bartleby." These two texts are opposite in many ways, which make them fascinating to study through Scotts eyes, because together they extensively cover the four situations he focuses on.
The first transcript which Scott discusses is that of the public's view. He describes that "the public transcript is to put it crudely, the self-portrait of dominant elites as they would have themselves seen"(18). Since the narrator of "Bartleby" is a member of the "dominant elite" this text is a great example of how the public transcript is used to show resistance and power. Text written from this point of view, focus on trying to make the elite seem good, just, and noble. The narrator of this text did a wonderful job at doing just that. At one point while talking about Bartleby he told the audience "Not only did there seem to lurk in it a certain calm disdain, but his perverseness seemed ungrateful, considering the undeniable good usage and indulgence he had received from me"(Melville 18). The narrator was basically saying, I was so good to Bartleby, how dare he not appreciate all my kindness. It is...
... middle of paper ...
...isplay, how within texts there could be many different forms of resistance and views of authority, depending on the transcripts used to understand them. Each text read in this class, on the surface value, provides an entertaining story, however the same text through deeper reading are able to decode much more complex plots. On the surface Bartleby is just a very strange employee, and the narrator of Gilman's story is just an insane woman, but by digging further this paper was able to display much more intensity to them both.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper" and other Stories. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1997.
Melville, Herman. Bartleby and Benito Cereno. 3rd ed. NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1990.
Scott, James C. Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper "The Yellow Wallpaper," written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the late nineteenth century, explores the dark forbidding world of one woman's plunge into a severe post-partum depressive state. The story presents a theme of the search for self-identity. Through interacting with human beings and the environment, the protagonist creates for herself a life of her own. Charlotte Gilman, through the first person narrator, speaks to the reader of the stages of psychic disintegration by sharing the narrator's heightened perceptions: "That spoils my ghostliness, I am afraid, but I don't care--there is something strange about the house--I... [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]
617 words (1.8 pages)
- Confinement in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper is a commentary on the male oppression of women in a patriarchal society. However, the story itself presents an interesting look at one woman's struggle to deal with both physical and mental confinement. This theme is particularly thought-provoking when read in today's context where individual freedom is one of our most cherished rights. This analysis will focus on two primary issues: 1) the many vivid images Gilman uses to illustrate the physical and symbolic confinement the narrator endures during her illness; and 2) the overall effect of, and her reac... [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays Gilman]
1373 words (3.9 pages)
- The Gender Politics of Work Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper The literature of the nineteenth century cataloged the social, economical and political changes during its period. Through it many new concerns and ideologies were proposed and made their journeys through intellectual spheres that have endured and kept their relevance in our own period today. The literature, sometimes quite overtly, introduced the issues arising with the changes in society specifically due to the industrial revolution.... [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]
2465 words (7 pages)
- Within the troubling novel, The Yellow Wallpaper, the theme in which action takes place is very significant. The woman, who seemingly suffered from post-partum depression, searches for some sort of peace in her male dominated world. The woman’s increasingly intense obsession with the wallpaper leaves the reader with many questions about male-female relationships and perhaps even insanity. Therefore, the manipulation of theme allows the author to delicately introduce symbols in the text. The yellow wallpaper itself is the most obvious symbol that represents the protagonist’s mindset.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Gilman]
1402 words (4 pages)
- The psychologically thrilling story of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman explores the dark and twisted aspect of the American society in the nineteenth century. Through the use of theme, Gilman creatively captures the cultural subordination and struggles women faced on a regular basis. The first theme present in the horrific and heart wrenching story is the subordinate position of women within marriage. “The Yellow Wallpaper” begins with the narrator’s wish that her house were haunted like those in which “frightened heroines suffer Gothic horrors” (DeLamotte 5).... [tags: Literary Analysis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman]
1114 words (3.2 pages)
- Restraints are set by parents on their children to aid with the developmental process and help with the maturity level. Restrictions and the ability to control exist in our society and our lives. We encounter restraints daily: job, doors, people, and the most frequently used and arduous become intangible. In the following stories tangible and intangible scenarios are presented. Autonomy, desires, and talents spurned by the husbands in John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums and Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The authors share views regarding a similar theme of male domination and imprisonment.... [tags: Comparative, Allen, Steinbeck]
1015 words (2.9 pages)
- The story of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins is one of the most famous accounts of madness in 19th century literature; taking the form of a woman’s journal who is receiving treatment for mental illness. Through the journal, she records her experiences and her mental life as she descends into what appears to be complete madness. Perkins is keen to stress both the singular experience of mental illness and ways in which this condition is manipulated and exacerbated by those around her. I will make the argument that it is possible to see the story as possessing a critical attitude towards contemporary social and gender relations in regards to Perkins view of androcentrism.... [tags: Charlotte Perkins, Maddness, Literary Analysis]
967 words (2.8 pages)
- “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman are two very meaningful and fascinating stories. These stories share similarities in symbols and themes but they do not share the same plot which makes it different from one another. Furthermore, “The lottery” was held in New England village where 300 people were living in that village. This event took place every once a year. Besides, the story begins where on one beautiful morning, everyone in that village gathered to celebrate the lottery.... [tags: Shirley Jackson, Charlotte Perkins Gilman]
1119 words (3.2 pages)
- In a female oppressive story about a woman driven from postpartum depression to insanity, Charlotte Gilman uses great elements of literature in her short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. Her use of feminism and realism demonstrates how woman's thoughts and opinions were considered in the early 1900?s. The theme of this story is feminism. Having gone through postpartum depression herself, Gilman?s story was strongly personal. During the time period that she wrote it, woman?s rights were limited. The character in this story felt she knew ways to recover herself from her depression, or ?baby blues?.... [tags: Charlotte Gilman]
339 words (1 pages)
- "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, depicts a woman in isolation, struggling to cope with mental illness, which has been diagnosed by her husband, a physician. Going beyond this surface level, the reader sees the narrator as a developing feminist, struggling with the societal values of the time. As a woman writer in the late nineteenth century, Gilman herself felt the adverse effects of the male-centric society, and consequently, placed many allusions to her own personal struggles as a feminist in her writing. Throughout the story, the narrator undergoes a psychological journey that correlates with the advancement of her mental condition. The restrictions which socie... [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman]
1794 words (5.1 pages)