Essay Comparing The Giant Wistaria And Yellow Wallpaper

927 words - 4 pages

Comparing The Giant Wistaria and The Yellow Wallpaper

 
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, "The Giant Wistaria" was first published in June 1891 in The New England Magazine, the same journal that would publish "The Yellow Wallpaper" a year later in 1892. These were difficult years in Gilman's life: she had separated from her first husband, artist Charles Walter Stetson, and was attempting, unsuccessfully, to resolve her contradictory desires, on one hand, to be a good wife and mother in conventional terms, and on the other, to be autonomous and seriously dedicated to her work. In 1891-1892, Gilman (still using the name Stetson) was enjoying her first literary successes, confirming ...view middle of the document...

and Mrs. Jenny, their "pretty sisters" and their sisters' suitors--discover the house's horrific secret. Gloria A. Biamonte's interpretation of "The Giant Wistaria" implicitly casts the young set as a community of readers and emphasizes the divisions of that community by gender. It is the women who are at first convinced that the house must have "a story, if we could only find it," while the men merely scoff and tease until the house will no longer permit that careless attitude. In addition, at the story's end it becomes clear that the women will be the house's most sensitive and skillful readers, as it is perhaps also clear that its gothic tale is intended as a warning for themselves.

What, then, does the house represent? Like the "ancestral mansion" of "The Yellow Wallpaper," the house beneath "The Giant Wistaria" is a symbol of patriarchal culture. Built, maintained, and controlled by men, the house is a place of entrapment for the woman at the story's center. The wistaria, on the other hand, is clearly a symbol of female presence and of the power of women (cast as a formidable force of nature) to dismantle patriarchal constructs: having been nurtured as a tender slip by the young woman's mother in part one, it comes to engulf the house in part two, threatening even to bring it down.

While the young Jennys and their siblings "move toward uncovering [the] century-old tale of a woman and her child--a tale that we, as readers, have been partly told in the opening segment of the story" (Biamonte 33-34), readers of "The Giant Wistaria" have a double duty to perform. First, with the characters of the story's second part, we too must attempt to read across at least a century of silence to reconstruct the first woman's story....

Other Papers Like Essay Comparing The Giant Wistaria And Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

943 words - 4 pages The Yellow Wallpaper The writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman writes the short story ‘’The Yellow Wallpaper’’, in 1899. A period of time where women weren’t allowed to have equal rights or the same opportunities as men had because of the male dominated society. The short story is written in first person narrator with a limited point of view. The narrators’ husband, named John, is a physician and she is very dominated by him. She is mentally ill

The Yellow Wallpaper

1014 words - 5 pages The Yellow Wallpaper Being deprived of imagination and freedom by her husband, the distraught narrator’s gradual obsession of the wallpaper ultimately portrays a reflection of her own trapped, hopeless life. At the beginning of the short story, the unnamed narrator first explains her unique predicament: Her husband John, who is also a doctor, diagnoses her with “temporary nervous depression.” As a result, John puts her on medication and they

"The Yellow Wallpaper" Analysis

1254 words - 6 pages the tools Gilman uses to tell the story; theme, irony and the symbolism. I’ve also looked into the character John, the narrator’s husband, once more to better understand him. “The Yellow Wallpaper” was a short story that showcased the troubles of women in marriage, the evils of depression, and the importance of independence. The author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses theme and symbolism in great volumes to portray her ideas. First, to

The Yellow Wallpaper

1309 words - 6 pages Women in the 19th century were expected to stay at home and care for their family. It was looked down upon when they used their minds creatively. They were not taken seriously and were given the rest cure when they showed signs of a mental illness. In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrators instability was not taken seriously by her husband. She was trapped in a house, in one small room, which was no

The Yellow Wallpaper - 518 words

518 words - 3 pages The Yellow Wallpaper The narrator starts off the story by talking about a large old house. She and her husband John are on a summer vacation for three months at this house. The house is a large estate that has been empty for many years, she describes it as haunted. She goes on and says she is sick with temporary nervous depression, one of the reasons they are staying at this house is to help her feel better by getting her fresh air. The

The Yellow Wallpaper - 559 words

559 words - 3 pages breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was told not to write; it was most forbidden of it. They believed writing excited a woman too much; such a thing was not to be heard of. In that 1880's time a woman was to tend to her husband and the house hold. The room that I stayed in had the most absurd wallpaper. It was yellow, and it some areas it was faded or torn. I despised the wallpaper, but my dear husband said, "My love if I fix the wall paper then

The Storm and the Yellow Wallpaper - Literary Elements and Themes

1004 words - 5 pages The Storm and The Yellow Wallpaper In both “The Storm” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, literary elements such as symbolism and metaphor play big parts in explaining what the protagonists are going through. The protagonist in each story is a woman who was repressed in her life. Both characters have been driven to do the things that they may not have done had it not been for their respective repressive

Ana Analysis of the Yellow Wallpaper in Language and Gender

725 words - 3 pages Eastern Mediterranean International School Yasmim Franceschi – English A HL Mini Essay: An analysis of Yellow Wallpaper’s text in Language and Gender. The aim of this Essay is to inspect the text of Yellow Wallpaper approaching the axis of Language and Gender. The Yellow Wallpaper story is a personal reflection of the narrator regarding her postpartum depression and how it influences her relationship with her husband, her family and the

The Yellow Wallpaper Psychoanalytic Criticism

1328 words - 6 pages Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," first published in 1892, is a study of social degeneration into madness. As such it may seem an unlikely focus of American literary realism; yet it is a very fine illustration of realist symbolism. The furnishings of the narrator's room become a microcosm of the world that squeezes her into the little cell of her own mind, and the wallpaper represents the state of that mind. The

Felicia And The Giant

1677 words - 7 pages ; I dropped my jaw in disbelief I couldn’t believe it! “Well if you’re not human, why do you speak English, a human language?” “Because humans and giants share the same languages” I know what you’re thinking, giants! Whatever! Right? Well I’m telling the truth it said “giant” I heard it with my own two ears. My jaw dropped open and I started to laugh historically. “Giant! Ha you almost had me

The Yellow Wallpaper Point Of View

686 words - 3 pages “The Yellow Wallpaper” “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story about a young woman whose husband takes her to a country home for the summer in order for her to get some rest and fresh air to cure her of her nervousness, but she has an obsession with the wallpaper and ends up going completely mad. The narrator is a mother of an infant and wife of a physician, John, who decides that her nervous condition can be cured

Related Essays

Suppression And The Yellow Wallpaper

1671 words - 7 pages of suppression can be used to analyze Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." Supporting Freud's claim, suppressing one's powerful emotions can lead to hysterical symptoms in a variety of forms, as portrayed in "The Yellow Wallpaper." The narrator's suppressed emotions about her illness and lack of say in her marriage cause a change of sense of self in her, leading to several phases in the narrator's sense of identity over time, such as: a

The Yellow Wallpaper 819 Words

819 words - 4 pages “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte P. Gilman, author of the “The Yellow Wallpaper”, was born on June 3, 1860, and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. Gilman wrote the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” in 1890 based off “his personal experience with a ‘rest cure’” (Wilson 279). After two years “The Yellow Wallpaper” finally got published in “1892 in the New England Magazine” to become a very popular and eye opening short story (Wilson 287). In the

The Yellow Wallpaper 1062 Words

1062 words - 5 pages children tore the wallpaper and later admits to doing it herself (Kennedy et al. 426,428). Her regression is also demonstrated by her comparison of her present room with the bedroom of her childhood (Kennedy and Gioia 427,428). The underlying theme of woman's rights emanates from every part of "The Yellow Wallpaper." In an essay by Elaine R. Hedges, she points out how the wallpaper symbolized the gross lack of women' rights (Short 119

The Yellow Wallpaper 1260 Words

1260 words - 6 pages The Yellow Wallpaper By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conflict is the commotion that is created between characters or their ideas. It could also be the mental dilemma a character might face. In the Yellow Wallpaper, a short story written in the early 1890s in California was able to show a range of conflicts. The Yellow Wallpaper is about a woman who has given birth and is suffering from postpartum depression which was not discovered during that