A Rose for Emily & the Yellow Wallpaper

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The protagonists in both “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman experience struggles within their society throughout their respective stories. Although the stories are very different, the struggles for each protagonist stem from the perception and expectations of women in society during the time each story was written. The protagonist in “The Yellow Wallpaper” struggles throughout the story due to her controlling husband and a woman’s role in society during this time. Her husband John is a physician and it is clear they are upper-middle class as they are able to afford a summer house and have help to cater to their needs. Even if the main character was not suffering from what…show more content…
Since she allowed no creative outlets, nor the ability to make decisions for herself, her obsession with the yellow wallpaper in her bedroom becomes increasingly severe. The narrator begins to use the wallpaper to facilitate her creativity and give herself some purpose. The oppressive situation her husband forces her into seems to drive her further and further into insanity until she becomes one with the ‘woman’ behind the wallpaper. “I suppose I shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard! It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please!” (Gilman, 1899, p. 9) The narrator’s inability to control her own life due to her husband’s continuous controlling ways seems to increase her insanity to the point of no return. This directly represents a woman’s struggle in society during the time the story was written. It was expected of a woman to adhere to every wish of her husband, whether or not he was correct. “A Rose for Emily” shows the struggle of Emily Grierson and her inability to accept the changing times due to a father who controlled her into only knowing and understanding his ideal of a southern woman. Emily is representative of old southern values and though the townspeople had begun to evolve with the changing times, Emily refused to conform. The role Emily held in society was both a blessing and a curse for her. Out of respect for whom she was and what she represented, she was
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