Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Tell-Tale Heart

Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Tell-Tale Heart

Length: 1673 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Yellow Wallpaper By Dr. John

- The Yellow Wallpaper This story demonstrates a prime example of a patriarchal society in which the degree of influence by Dr. John in the decisions of the marriage, which ends up in his wife’s dementia. In the story right after Jane gave birth to her child she gets into a deep depression so her husband and her brother, two respected physicians ordered her rest. The house where they live is away from town and she only had contact with her husband and her nurse. "[The house] is quite alone standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Strong Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

Insanity as a Metaphor in The Yellow Wall-Paper, The Tell-Tale Heart, Hamlet, and Mad Song

- The sickness of insanity stems from external forces and stimuli, ever-present in our world, weighing heavily on the psychological, neurological, and cognitive parts of our mind. It can drive one to madness through its relentless, biased, and poisoned view of the world, creating a dichotomy between what is real and imagined. It is a defense mechanism that allows one to suffer the harms of injustice, prejudice, and discrimination, all at the expense of one’s physical and mental faculties....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story]

Strong Essays
1630 words (4.7 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis Of Gilman 's The Yellow Wallpaper

- No one literary theory is specific enough to explain a literary body of work, various approaches are needed to truly analyze and evaluate the structured themes in literature. The Feminist Approach is the most common literary device used in theorizing Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper; the story is a tale of a Victorian Age woman controlled by a patriarchal society, which is not in question. The second most common approach is the Psychoanalyze criticism, our protagonist Jane is most likely suffering from post-partum depression as theorized by Beate Schöpp-Schilling....   [tags: Feminism, Gender role, Literary criticism, Woman]

Strong Essays
846 words (2.4 pages)

Analysis Of ' The Tell Tale Heart ' Essay

- The Tell-Tale Heart puts forward an idea that ego can alter our perceptions resulting in madness because it will destroy accurate understanding. “The narrators insanity is figured forth in terms of the murder of reason and moral sense and an utter breakdown of the three aspects of the human identity…”(Edward.) The absurdity of this murderer being sane is clear to read. To raise what may seem like an obvious question to some: why could only he hear the heartbeat. I like to look at what he was experiencing versus everyone else....   [tags: Mind, Perception, The Tell-Tale Heart, Reason]

Strong Essays
946 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Raven And Tell Tale Heart

- You are running up the stairs, gasping for air not stopping because if you slow down just a little, that thing behind you is right there about to grab your foot. You make it to the top, slam the door and fall to the ground because you realize you escaped near death. Just from this scenario is your heart is beating; Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock used this and many other scenarios in their literature to illustrate suspense and an eerie mood. It has been known for years that Alfred Hitchcock based his thriller Psycho off some of Edgar Allen Poe’s works of literature....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart]

Strong Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

The Black Cat And The Tell Tale Heart Essay example

- Everyone hits rock bottom or hits that breaking point in their lives. For some people it may be sooner than others. Our actions can be justified in some ways, where it depends on the person’s mental state, physical state, or emotional state. Additionally, we always try to find a reason on why our actions may be perceived to be right in our own eyes. In “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allan Poe demonstrates the concept of morality through the state of madness, horrific narration and strong symbolism....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart]

Strong Essays
2123 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on The Tell Tale Heart Vs. The Raven

- The Tell-Tale Heart VS. The Raven People say the mind is a very complex thing. The mind gives people different interpretations of events and situations. A person state of mind can lead to a death of another person. As we all know death is all around us in movies, plays, and stories. The best stories that survive throughout time involve death in one form or another. For example, William Shakespeare is considered as one of the greatest writers in literary history known for having written a lot of stories concerning death like Macbeth or Julius Caesar....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart]

Strong Essays
989 words (2.8 pages)

The Tell-Tale Heart: An Analysis Essay

- The Tell-Tale Heart: An Analysis      In Edgar Allan Poe’s short-story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the storyteller tries to convince the reader that he is not mad. At the very beginning of the story, he asks, "...why will you say I am mad?" When the storyteller tells his story, it's obvious why. He attempts to tell his story in a calm manner, but occasionally jumps into a frenzied rant. Poe's story demonstrates an inner conflict; the state of madness and emotional break-down that the subconscious can inflict upon one's self....   [tags: Analysis Tell Tale Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart

- The Narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart Through the first person narrator, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" illustrates how man's imagination is capable of being so vivid that it profoundly affects people's lives. The manifestation of the narrator's imagination unconsciously plants seeds in his mind, and those seeds grow into an unmanageable situation for which there is no room for reason and which culminates in murder. The narrator takes care of an old man with whom the relationship is unclear, although the narrator's comment of "For his gold I had no desire" (Poe 34) lends itself to the fact that the old man may be a family member whose death would monetarily benefit t...   [tags: Tell-Tale Heart Essays]

Free Essays
883 words (2.5 pages)

The Horror of The Tell-Tale Heart Essay

- The Horror of The Tell-Tale Heart   Writers can use many tricks to make a story seem more interesting to the reader. From the words they pick to the setting to the time of the day... the possibilities are endless. In the story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe, the use of light and darkness, the description of the mans eye and the time frame make the story more scary than anything else. Poe also uses suspense at the end to make the readers heart beat faster. The speaker starts the story out by explaining that he doe not hate the old man that he is about to kill....   [tags: Tell-Tale Heart Essays]

Strong Essays
955 words (2.7 pages)