The Yellow Wallpaper Comparison Essay

Words: 1295
Pages: 6

Comparing “The Rose for Emily” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Have you ever been so much in-love that it’s made you crazy? In “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, the main focus is on the women characters, both who have experienced major life changing events. In “A Rose for Emily”, Emily had lost her beloved father, and in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Jane had just given birth to a child. As a result of these life changes, both ladies struggled with love, depression, and rejection from the ones they love, inevitably leading both Emily and Jane to retreat into their own make believe world.
In “A Rose for Emily”, Emily is described as a pale, slender figured, upper-class girl, whose beloved father
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For three days, Emily told the ministers and doctors that her father was not dead, and just before they were about to resort to force in the help of the law, Emily broke down and the town hurried and buried her father (Faulkner, 241). This seemed to have been the starting point of Emily’s breakdown with reality. Years later, Emily’s appearance was that of a “small fat woman dressed in black,” with “eyes lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looking like two small pieces of coal pressed into lumps of dough” (Faulkner, 239). As time progressed, she continued to live in the shadow of her family name, which controlled all aspects of her life; this included the chore of selecting a mate. Emily started being seen riding in a horse drawn carriage around the town “in the summer after her father’s death” (Faulkner, 241), in the company of a Yankee foreman named Homer Barron (Faulkner, 241). The elders of the town’s upper-class …show more content…
Like Emily, Jane also lived under the control of a family member – her doctor husband, John. But how could a successful doctor from the early nineteen century, rich enough to afford a summer estate, be considered ordinary? Well, Jane had just had a baby and was suffering from what her doctor husband described as “temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman, 297). Postpartum depression is what it is known by today (Twomey, 23). John feared that if his wife had an idle mind and body, it would give her more time to dwell on this nervous depression. So trying to protect her from this, he isolated her, and prescribed Jane to take “phosphates…and tonics and journeys and air, and exercise, and absolutely” forbid her to work (Gilman, 241). John felt that by scheduling every hour in each day, except for sleeping, it would not allow Jane any time to be depressed( Gilman, 298). Jane responded to the mandatory rest and isolation at first, but then began trying to fight against the growing indolence that was trying to control her. While one side of her believed that the treatment prescribed by John was wrong, the other side of her had been taught by society to trust the authority of her husband, of doctors, and of men in general. Because of John’s position, he controlled all the power in this