Comparison Essay Sample of 'A Rose for Emily' and 'The Yellow Wallpaper'

Published: 2022-02-17 20:54:45
Comparison Essay Sample of 'A Rose for Emily' and 'The Yellow Wallpaper'
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: William Faulkner The Yellow Wallpaper
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 861 words
8 min read
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These are two stories written at the time when women were looked down upon and men were in control. The two stories 'A Rose for Emily' by William Faulkner and 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman's are similar in several ways and differ in some ways too. There are especially similarities in the themes present in both stories. The main similarity is seen in the main characters where both of them are in the same situation that many women of their time (1800's and early 1900's). Having written during the time when women were looked at as lesser gender than their male counterparts in the society. Both women face emotional downfall in their own society which leads them to extreme depression and loneliness to total insanity.

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However, the two stories have main characters with totally different personalities. In the 'A Rose for Emily', the main character does not embrace change easily. When Emily's father dies, Emily does not move on and she doesn't dispose of her father's corpse just to feel that her father is still with her. Even after her father's death, Emily does not get out to find her suitor until Holmer presents himself and she gets insanely possessive of him to a point of killing him just to have him all by herself. Unlike Emily, the protagonist in the 'Yellow Wallpapers' is able to deal with her misfortunes inflicted at her by her husband John. She is also not as stubborn as Emily who even after the death of her father is not willing to collaborate with officials and to pay taxes.

The two stories display similar themes. For instance, the theme of male dominance in the society of both characters is well presented. The female gender is seen to be oppressed and with little to say regarding their own lives. On the other hand, the male is portrayed as manipulative and controlling. The whole lives of the two characters are characterized by male dominance which is the main cause of the insanity of the two characters at the end. In the case of Emily, her own father had control over her life until he died. Emily was not allowed to find a suitor or even make a decision of paying taxes. Even after his father's death, Emily was unable to change which made her lose her mind. Similarly, Jane's life was dominated by her husband in a way that she was not allowed to go out unmonitored even to seek medication. Her husband John preferred o treated her deteriorating depression condition. Both situations end up with the severe loneliness that causes the victims to have mental illnesses probably caused by depression as a result of a feeling of self-unworthiness.

The male dominance in both stories leads to injustices inflicted on women by supposedly the men that were supposed to love and protect them. Both stories compare women coming from a social standing family to being pushed to a point of losing their minds. Besides, there is a psychological subject of matter. Both characters suffer from psychological disorders that prevent them from living and leading lives like any other person.

In A Rose for Emily, Emily is literally isolated from the real world by his father. She is not even allowed to marry and she does not associate with the community like other people. The only activity she does was to teach young kids. The community is well versed with the lives of Emily and her father. The only additional person in their lives is a butler who runs their errands. This kind of isolation leads to more loneliness to Emily after her father died. As a result, when Emily finds Holmes, she is so obsessed with him that she decides to kill him in order not to share him with anyone else Faulkner, William, Josef Schwarz, and Zdenek Urbanek 230). Similarly, for Jane, her husband confined her in a room restricting him from going anywhere except when she needed to get her sun therapy. As a result, Jane became obsessed with the wallpapers that she ripped in the room that she was confined. As a result, John's wife went from being depressed to being mad (Gilman, 2). Her story portrays several aspects of a woman's struggle with society.

In summary 'The Yellow Wallpaper' demonstrates the struggle for the fight of self-realization of a woman in a lonely and oppressed environment. The protagonist suffers from a nervous breakdown as a result of being confined in a room by her husband (Gilman, 38). In both stories, women suffer maintaining the image imposed on them by men in high societies. Finally, in 'A Rose for Emily' and 'The Yellow Wallpaper' both deals with two females who are emotionally and mentally unstable and they are both isolated creating a sense of Gothic horror. Both stories conclude that in the past, women suffered from men dominance that was created by a patriarchal society, unlike today where men and women share similar rights.


Works cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The yellow wallpaper. Penguin UK, 2015.

Faulkner, Faulkner, William, Josef Schwarz, and Zdenek Urbanek. A rose for Emily. Paderborn, De: Verlag F. Schoningh, 1958.

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Comparison Essay Sample of 'A Rose for Emily' and 'The Yellow Wallpaper'. (2022, Feb 17). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/comparison-of-a-rose-for-emily-and-a-yellow-wallpaper

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