Perception of Events in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Fall of the House of Usher

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Perception of Events in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Fall of the House of Usher When literature first began to take flight in America, many of the stories written were of the Gothic variety. American society, at the time, seemed to connect with fantasy and reality, therefore many early writers wrote in the Gothic style. Most of these Gothic stories feature characters whose perceptions of themselves and the world around them are abnormal due to drug use, being in a dream state, or simply just madness. In comparing two short stories, "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Yellow Wallpaper," it seems that the character's perceptions affect the way the reader understands the events of the story. Charlotte Perkins Gillman's "The …show more content…

She is more than likely in a mental institution, admitted for depression. She says that her new home stands "quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village." (Gilman 551) She then describes the garden, saying, "There is a delicious garden! I never saw such a garden -- large and shady, full of box-bordered paths." (Gilman 552) But what sort of house has a garden like the one described and separated from the main town? It seems likely that the woman is in an institution, but her perception of it is so distorted that she believes that it is her new house. The fact that her "husband" is also a doctor suggests her mental state. She says that, "He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special instruction." This sounds more like a description of a doctorpatient connection than a husbandwife relationship. The narrator also says that John is gone quite a lot on trips to see other patients and is only with her at night. Even then he is not always there at night. She says he is gone "nights when his cases are serious." By nighttime she may mean the time when her doctor, John, goes to check up on her and sometimes he can't check on her everyday, because he is busy with the other patients in the mental ward. The narrator also speaks a good deal on her room, which she describes as "a big airy room the windows are barred for little

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