The Correlation of Setting and Emotion: The Yellow Wallpaper and The Swimmer

Decent Essays
Nicole Osborne
Mr. Chris Button
English 1080
November 27, 2012
The Correlation of Setting and Emotion in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Swimmer”
In both short stories, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Swimmer”, the protagonists use the settings to symbolize their emotions and tribulations throughout the story. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Jane was isolated by her husband in a house, and specifically in a room that brought her to her eventual insanity. In “The Swimmer” Neddy lives in the suburbs, a place that looks like it has everything figured out but in reality it’s full of isolation and emptiness. In both stories, the protagonists use their settings to reflect their lives. It’s used to show how everything is not as it seems on
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She becomes consumed by the wallpaper in the room and reflects her confinement onto a woman that she thinks is trapped in the wallpaper. When she frees the woman, she feels like she is freed too, when in reality she has just hit rock bottom. The story is also set in a time where women were frequently oppressed by men, as shown by Jane who is constantly belittled by her husband.
In both short stories, the setting is used to show the situation that the protagonists are in. They are similar in that the setting corresponds with their lives, but they differ in the way they do that. Neddy uses the setting to symbolize the correlation between suburban life and his life and how superficial and empty they are. Jane’s setting not only contributes to her sickness, but she also reflects her sickness onto the setting when it comes to the wallpaper in the room that she is confined to.
The main characters in both short stories “The Swimmer” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” use the setting to reflect what the characters go through during the story. Jane goes insane from being trapped in the room in the house that the story is set in. Much like the suburban area that Neddy travels through, he is superficially happy, but in reality his life doesn’t have much depth. In both stories, the protagonist’s situations are reflected through the
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