Compare And Contrast The Yellow Wallpaper And A Rose For Emily

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The two short stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner contain different settings and plotlines however they share a very similar theme, isolation and insanity. Under different conditions, the two female main characters were both driven to insanity because the men in their lives forced them into long periods of isolation and loneliness. However, Gilman addresses the effects of theme on the main character through psychological realism while Faulkner expresses it by illuminating social issues of the South.
One similarity that both of the female characters share is pretty clear, they both experience isolation which ultimately, leads them to insanity. In “A Rose for Emily”, the story
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The story then flashbacks to after her father dies and the narrator begins to hint at how suspicious Emily is starting to act by stating, “I want arsenic” (Faulkner 3)and the narrator saying “that was the last we saw of Homer Barron”. These quotes explain the beginnings of Emily going insane, due to long periods of isolation. This is similar to “The Yellow Wallpaper” when the main character goes insane because her husband, who is also a doctor, locks her in an old nursery for many days. The main character immediately hates the room stating that she “doesn’t like her room one bit” (Gilman 3) but her husband only dismisses her opinion. Soon, she starts to see a woman trapped inside of the wallpaper. She describes the wallpaper, “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all moonlight, it becomes bars! The pattern outside I mean, and the woman …show more content…
In the story, it is explained that Emily was not a stranger to a luxurious lifestyle. However when Emily’s father died, she was forced into isolation and was left with nobody else. Emily’s father believed that “None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such.” (Faulkner 2) This quote provides clarity to the fact that because Emily’s father was a man of the Old South, and because he was so powerful in the small town, he believed in a few social standards to live by for him and his family. Because of these “southern” social beliefs he had, he practically forced Emily into isolation after he died, because she was never able to date, or even have any interaction with people outside. Not having her father in her life anymore left Emily in shock, for she had no idea how to handle it. This is shown for the first time when the narrator reveals, “She was dressed as usual, with no grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body.” (Faulkner 3)Through this quote you can really see how in denial Emily is becoming, but also how she was so used to her father making decisions for her and controlling all aspects of her life, that she has no idea what to do with all of her freedom that she now had. Then for the

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