The Yellow Wallpaper' and 'The Man Who Was Almost a Man

1568 Words7 Pages
Trapped Inside Freedom The stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright create two distinct characters, Jane and Dave, who are eventually destroyed by their obsessions. They both reveal the consequences of impulsive and desperate actions of their main characters attempt to free themselves from their proverbial prisons. Through the use of imagery and symbolism, Gilman and Wright present the compelling need in us all to be powerful and unrestrained. To escape from their individual constraints, Jane, the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Dave, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” become fixated on objects that eventually lead to their destruction. Striving to get well…show more content…
It is so puzzling. It keeps me quiet by the hour” (752). She is confined to her room and the garden, fearing to upset the lifestyle she is forced to carry out by Jennie and John. Yet by night, she transforms into a frantic woman, spending all of her energy watching the moonlight change the wallpaper. When it is dark she begins to see her own prison: “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it [the wallpaper] becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be” (752). Similar to Jane, Dave’s days only bring him trouble and humiliation. During the day, Dave must endure his family, the field hands, and Jim Hawkins treating him like a child. Wright illustrates, “Dave struck out across the fields, looking homeward through the paling light. Whut’s the use talkin wid em niggers in the field? Anyhow, his mother was putting supper on the table. Them niggers can’t understan nothing. One of these days he was going to get a gun and practice shooting, then they couldn’t talk to him as though he were a little boy” (757). Wright also accentuates Dave’s child like behavior through his actions during the day. With the mind of a child, Dave decides to practice shooting the gun in the fields, but he is not able to control the gun. Instead, he accidently shoots Jenny the mule. This act only brings him trouble, tears, and humiliation: “‘Take tha gun n git yo money back n
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