The Yellow Wallpaper

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When looking at two nineteenth century works of change for two females in an American society, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Stephen Crane come to mind. A feminist socialist and a realist novelist capture moments that make their readers rethink life and the world surrounding. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” was first published in 1892, about a white middle-class woman who was confined to an upstairs room by her husband and doctor, the room’s wallpaper imprisons her and as well as liberates herself when she tears the wallpaper off at the end of the story. On the other hand, Crane’s 1893 Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is the realist account of a New York girl and her trials of growing up with an alcoholic mother and slum life world. The…show more content…
2) or the color yellow that appears when Maggie goes to work in the sweat shop suggests the sicknes of her mother due to drinking or even the dinginess of the slum world. She works with many "girls of various shades of yellow discontent" (ch. 5), this is not the yellow color of sunshine or representative of happiness but of the discontent and agony of the over worked girls. After Maggie's suicide, the "inevitable sunlight came streaming in at the windows and shed a ghastly cheerfulness upon the faded hues of the room" (ch. 19), where the mourners gathered to witness the death of Maggie. The sunlight symbolizes the golden future of Maggie's romantic dreams or the gilded cage she lives in: lined with promise but was caged by the filth of slum life. The color symbolism in Crane’s novel is similar to the imagery in the color yellow in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The color yellow in the wallpaper traditionally represents domesticity and a feministic quality of the domestic sphere but instead is a symbol of the main character’s imprisonment in her own home. The narrator first states that she is being watched by the wallpaper as she watches it back, she also “kept still and watched the moonlight on that undulating wall-paper till [she] felt creepy” (Gilman), and she started enthusiastically decoding the wallpaper’s meaning. The narrator begun to see a figure of a

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