AComparison of Two Stories
AComparison of Two Stories
CharlottePerkin’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a narration of a story thattalks about a young woman. The woman’s life is in control of herhusband a male physician. In their minds, the two men believe whatcould be best for the young woman who is suffering from thepost-partum depression. Their only solution could be her isolationfrom the world. “The Yellow Paper” gives a mental health view ofthe illness and the role of the women. On the other hand, AliceWalker’s “Everyday Use” narrates a story of two sisters andtheir mother that struggles to preserve a few quits, their heritageforms (Milne, 2007). The older sister is seen to be domineering andselfish, while the younger one is an under achiever, and their motheris uneducated. While the older educated sister travels a lot, theyounger sister and their mother have been isolated from the world.The paper therefore, compares the two stories by looking at bothprominent and isolated women.
Tobegin with, both stories are written in the first person point ofview. This helps the reader to fully comprehend predicaments createdby the elder sister. The story reveals Maggie and Mama’s lack oforal skills however, there are able to show their survivalcompetence on whatever they have (Walker, 2006). Their ability toovercome their struggles can best be compared in Charlotte Perkin’s“The Yellow Wallpaper,” whereby the use of first person point ofview helps the reader to keep up with struggles of the narrator’songoing challenges with her incessant ailment. At the onset of thestory, it is hard to note that the narrator is battling ailments, butas the story unfolds, the plight of the woman becomes apparent. Whenshe talks about her judgements of her surrounding, everything appearslucid. She says, “I would talk about a haunted house,” (Milne,2007), and goes ahead to talk about the kind of mansion she wouldlike to live in for the next four months.
Thereis comparison between the needs of both women characters in the twostories. Their wishes are different but are relatable. In “TheYellow Wallpaper,” the narrator’s battle with unspecified ailmentmakes her appear to be peculiar and different to say the least. Whenshe starts to mention the wallpaper, which is situated in her room,it does make her appear to be mentally unstable. Gilman & Golden(2004) noted that when she begins to claim that the wallpaper appearsto be “revolting” and has a “smoldering unclean yellow,” itseems to not be thinking clearly, while becoming a bit obsessive withthe wallpaper. The same is seen with Mama has she appears to bementally unstable following her older daughter’s actions when shetries to control her. When Mama begins to narrate to both herdaughters about the house, and the status of their finances, apicture begins to form.
Bothwomen in the two stories, the narrator and Mama share some of thepredicaments affecting today’s women. The narrator complains abouther surrounding for example, the “haunting” wallpaper. As timegoes by, she began to look forward to “wallpaper’s” company,which reveals the state of her mental state. The narrator is alsoconsumed with the idea that there may be another woman who is behindthe wallpaper’s pattern. It goes ahead to show how somepredicaments are created by the thought or action of other women.This is compared with Mama’s predicament, which is partly caused byher elder daughter (Walker, 2006). Mama becomes weak when Dee, hereldest daughter, comes into the house and began to take both Mama andMaggie’s things, which makes her subservient and weak to Dee.
Thepain experienced by these women is best compared in the two stories.In Charlotte Perkin’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator’spains are best described following the narrator’s illness, whichaccording to Gilman & Golden (2004), has obviously overcome thebest of her, and that she can no longer resist the pain. The womannarrator is talked about as recognition of a feminist indictment,which occurs in a society dominated by men. In Alice Walker’s“Everyday Use,” the women’s pain is shown through Mama whosemain cause is her elder daughter. Mama was as weak and powerless asMaggie, her younger daughter, as she felt pain watching her stuff gothrough the door (Milne, 2007). Mama felt a lot of pain as she beganto pick herself up, but only to feel more pain as Wangero walk overher.
Lonelinesscan be derived from both stories. Dee, after leaving her mother’shouse, feels lonely and loses connection to people who meant thewhole world to her. Following her decision to move and be part of anew life in the city, where there are more people, she becomesisolated and lonely (Walker, 2006). She even relinquishes the namethat was given for her at birth and adopted “Wangero.” She feelslonely and isolated that she could not wear the name that was givento her by the same people that oppressed her. In Charlotte Perkin’s“The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator is isolated from her realworld when she becomes ill to a point that she began to create aconnection with “wallpaper.” Paying attention to her surrounding,according to Gilman & Golden (2004), became a manifestation ofher sense of loneliness. She even went ahead and creates an illusionof a woman behind the wallpaper.
Inthese two stories, the women long for a real connection to theoutside world they live in. Having no connection, they all experiencea sense of isolation. To connect to the outside world, Dee in AliceWalker’s “Every Use” comes home, greeted her mother and sisterin a foreign language and informs them that she desires to be viewedas an alien. She wants to connect to the outside world to a point sheannounces that she now goes by the name “Wangero,” and is nolonger called Dee. The narrator in Charlotte Perkin’s “The YellowWallpaper,” wants to disconnect from her current situation. Hersituations of being mentally unstable means that she is compelled byher pain to completely forget the person she is become someone else.The woman narrator in the story is compelled by the “yellowwallpaper” because of the predicament she is in.
Therole of women in both short stories is varied but relatable. Thedemands of young women differ from the elderly. Again, women’spredicaments are contributed by their surrounding as well as otherwomen. In Charlotte Perkin’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” thenarrator struggles from the first person pint of view to expose themysteries of the wallpaper, which according to Milne (2007), is arepresentation of the surrounding environment these women live in.Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” on the other hand, highlightswomen’s plights to be caused by other women. Wangero left heryounger sister, Maggie, to cower at the corner, whereby Mama camelike a super hero to her rescue (Walker, 2006). Mama saved Maggie,while telling Wangero that she could end up doing without them andher quilts.
Inconclusion, of the two narrators, the unnamed woman in CharlottePerkin’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is more compelling consideringher predicament. She undergoes a lot of problems because her brother,husband, and both her doctors are entirely ignorant of whatever shewas suffering from. Of both stories, both have a woman that desires aconnection to the outside world from that she lives in (Maggie andnarrator). That isolation continues to drive each woman who iswithout or is not allowed to experience it, to a place of loss,unhappiness, and struggles.
Gilman,C. P., & Golden, C. (2004). CharlottePerkins Gilman`s The yellow wall-paper: A sourcebook and criticaledition.New York: Routledge.
Milne,I. M. (2007). Shortstories for students: Presenting analysis, context, and criticism oncommonly studied short stories.Detroit, Mich: Thomson Gale.
Walker,A. (2006). “Everyday Use.” Literatureand Society: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction.Eds.Pamela J. Annas and Robert C. Rosen. 4thEd. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall