A Rose for Emily & the Yellow Wallpaper

Words: 5179
Pages: 21

The protagonists in both “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman experience struggles within their society throughout their respective stories. Although the stories are very different, the struggles for each protagonist stem from the perception and expectations of women in society during the time each story was written. The protagonist in “The Yellow Wallpaper” struggles throughout the story due to her controlling husband and a woman’s role in society during this time. Her husband John is a physician and it is clear they are upper-middle class as they are able to afford a summer house and have help to cater to their needs. Even if the main character was not suffering from what …show more content…
“Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation on the town, dating from that day in 1894 when Colonel Sartoris, the mayor – he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron – remitted her taxes, the dispensation dating from the death of her father on into perpetuity.” (Faulkner, 1930, p.1) Emily grew ever reclusive after the death of her father. Although she finally had the ability to come out from behind the shadow of her father, who had made her life miserable, it appeared too late for Emily. She had already lost her chances at marriage, and now had lost all her money and social stature due to her father’s death. She was ultimately left with her house and nothing else. Couple this with the rapidly changing society and Emily became an eccentric recluse partially shunned and partially worshipped as a legend by her fellow townspeople. Her father and his southern society ideals made it so that Emily could not successfully live on her own without a man. When the man Emily believed she was to marry tried to leave her, she finds she has nothing else to lose and nothing left to live for and poisons him. “And that was the last we saw of Homer Barron. And of Miss Emily for some time. The Negro man went in and out with the market basket, but the front door remained closed. Now and then we would see her at a window for a moment, as the men did that night when they