Essay: The Yellow Wallpaper
Essay: The Yellow Wallpaper
As she becomes more fanatical with the wallpaper, we see her repulsion of it turn into an overexcited image of her perplexing and dizzying fall into madness. She is a writer characterized in the story and as she says: “I know a little of the principle of design, and I know this thing was not arranged on any laws of radiation, or alternation, or repetition, or symmetry, or anything else that I ever heard of” (Gilman 12).
This was one of the possible reasons why she got infatuated with the wallpaper in the beginning. As her husband glorifies his want to keep her in isolation and keep her talent away from any incentives she would start staring at the wallpaper with rising eagerness and also starts seeing objects which are not even there on the wallpaper. This is evident from the following lines: “There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day” (Gilman 14).
Eventually at the closing of the story mental disturbance becomes quite evident and noticeable. She would spend most of her time trying to figure out the wallpaper and did not find anything else interested. Finally although the change is very slight, the moment of her madness is fully exposed in this line: “–there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast. I wonder if they all come out of that wall-paper as I did” (Gilman 19).
In comparing The Yellow Wallpaper and The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe, we will see again the theme of insanity as a common theme. Both the stories are penned down by American authors. One more common thing in both the stories is the use of color in their titles. The Black Cat is about a psycho lover of animals who finds a black cat and makes friends with her. However eventually a moment occurs and the man hangs the cat after cutting out its eye. Therefore the narrator shows madness. He again finds another black cat and befriends her till she finds it not interesting anymore. One day he trips down the stairs of his cellar because of the cat and wants to kill it with an axe. But he is stopped by his wife from doing so; however she faces the trauma and is killed by her husband. Later on she is discovered walled with the cat when the police come around looking for her. Edgar Allen Poe characterizes his understanding of madness, and confronts the readers’ deferral of incredulity by using metaphors in unfolding the plot and characters. Foreshadowing is one of the imagery used to describe the scenes of sanity versus insanity. He writes “for the neither most wild yet homely narrative which I am about to pen, I expect nor illicit belief. Yet mad I am not- and surely do I not dream.” (Poe 18)