A Comparative Essay ' Yellow Wallpaper ' And Room19

795 Words Jun 13th, 2016 4 Pages
A Comparative Essay on the Protagonists Isolation in “Yellow Wallpaper” and “Room19”
In the short stories To Room 19 by Doris Lessing and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the protagonists, Susan Rawlings and The Yellow Wallpaper’s narrator become increasingly isolated. What are the causes of this isolation? How do Susan and the narrator cope with their crisis and what is the ultimate outcome of their isolation?
In To Room 19, Susan Rawlings becomes emotionally and physically isolated from her family after learning of her husband’s infidelity. Susan struggles with processing the affair because while intelligent Susan tries to ignore the affair and act like it didn’t matter “the whole thing was not important.” (866 Lessing), emotional Susan is confused and hurt. Susan’s inner turmoil over the affair causes her to begin to crave complete isolation from her family and the world around her. “In that case why did Susan feel…as if life had become a desert, and that nothing mattered, and that her children were not her own?” (867 Lessing) In The Yellow Wallpaper, the storyteller becomes isolated following the birth of her first child. Her isolation unlike Susan’s is involuntary. Having been diagnosed by her husband with “temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency” (580 Gilman) The storyteller is “absolutely forbidden to work” (581 Gilman) until she is well. Although she believes that “congenial work with excitement and change” (581 Gilman) would…

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