Eng 232 Essay

Submitted By enuff8743
Words: 1944
Pages: 8

Eric Williams
English 232
11-22-2013
Final Essay

An unreliable narrator fails to indicate credibility in narrating a story. They show tendencies of not having adequate knowledge or facts while writing. They give inaccurate information with no alignment with tastes and moral taste. Most of the works by unreliable narrators raise suspicion from readers, as there are constraints of knowledge. Notes from Underground and The Yellow Wallpaper are examples of works that have been told by unreliable narrators. While the writers of these stories have not necessarily falsified things, they have not told the truth or facts either. The stories are biased, with mistakes and lies. The credibility of the stories is questionable and compromised at some points in the story. The unreliability is not so evident at the stories but only hinted at. The stories may be too interesting to notice that it lacks credibility. A story is rendered unreliable if there are intratextual signs whereby the narrator contradicts him or herself, or have memory gaps. The narrator also has contradicts with the world’s, general knowledge. The reader can also identify unreliability when they have some literary competence and identify disparities in the story. This essay shall focus on the Notes from Underground and yellow wallpaper as stories told by unreliable narrators. The Yellow Wallpaper is a story is a story told by a man who is in a questionable mental state. It is not captivating as it is of a woman who goes mad because she is bored and stays in an unattractive room. When one starts to read this story, it seems like a ghost story. There is a mention of the probability of the house being haunted. One then believes it as a ghost story with an apparition character behind it. It is only towards the end that the reader discovers that there is a bigger problem underlying. The narrator has a dodgy nature of descriptions. The timelines in the story also clash and after several readings one would realize there is a problem regarding the events timelines. The story has subtle hints that only need a person to connect the dots effectively in order to understand the story. The narrator has mixed views on virtually all aspects of the story. She changes her mind often, which can make it confusing to understand. Her unstable state of mind makes all the more unreliable because of the different personality it brings with it. She even admits to of being of an unstable mind from the quote, "...I'm sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition." Another aspect that makes The Yellow Wallpaper unreliable is the fact that it is a diary. Diaries are places of personal matters. Her imagination is also very active which would put to question some stories she gives. The narrator in the Notes from Underground is an unreliable writer as well due to his irrational behavior. There are interesting elements in the details of the story. The Underground man’s character has many contradictions as well as indecisions. He seems unable to take actions regarding the things of concern. He despises his community and has no basis for nature and he states that humans are useless. He is bitter with all life aspects. He is analytical and very conscious of things that go on around him and inside him. His consciousness also makes him review some of his statements because he is aware of reader’s judgment. The validity of statements in this story is questioned by the narrators consciousness of the environment and in particular the readers who he views as a panel of judges. Everything he states has been filtered through a lens of his nihilistic and anguished perspective. He does not see things straight and this questions his validity as a writer. It becomes difficult for the reader to also believe someone who does not seem of sound mind. His psychological state makes his statement not credible. The narrators of these two books have similarities regarding how they…