The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman And A Streetcar Named Desire

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman And A Streetcar Named Desire

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Madness is used as a theme in literature to explore the depths of the human mind. People experience and react to madness in various ways. In literary works such as The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams madness is characterized by detachment from reality and delusions. The madness that the Narrator and Blanche experience is caused by their attempts to ease their loneliness. In The Yellow Wallpaper the narrator, who is subjected to the rest cure and isolated from the world, immerses herself in the world she creates within the wallpaper to ease her loneliness and in A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche Dubois deludes herself and those around her into believing that she is a proper lady to hide her lonely promiscuous lifestyle caused by the many losses she experiences.
In The Yellow Wallpaper, the Narrator’s delusions of the creeping women within the wallpaper are caused by her isolation from the world outside of the bedroom. While the Narrator is denied contact and forced to remain in the bedroom due to her husband’s insistence she begins to create a world within the hideous yellow wallpaper that covers the walls. She sees patterns and shapes, such as trapped creeping women, in the wallpaper. In the beginning of the short story, it is clear that the narrator desires social interaction and even believes that it would improve her mental condition.
I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house. (Gilman 648)
Her husband rejects the idea of her having any social interact...


... middle of paper ...


...s and creeping women is her only comfort and as such she allows herself to become part of it. Blanche experiences delusions as a method of coping with her losses. She does not want to appear lonely so she invents stories and companions such as Shep Huntleigh and eventually her desire to believe she is not lonely leads her to believe her own lies. Due to her loneliness she seeks comfort in sexual encounters. When she does not receive the love she is searching for she sinks further into her fantasy, no longer lying to save face but because she truly believes her fantasies. This loneliness is the cause of both characters madness. The constant effort to alleviate the loneliness they experience drives them to find comfort in delusions and fantasies. The inability to find comfort in others often drives people to seek it in other places, sometimes to the extent of madness.

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