Comparing The Yellow Wallpaper 'And Jury Of Her Peers'

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Madness can drive any seemingly rational person to perform completely irrational and potentially deadly actions. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Susan Glaspell both observe the effects of madness in their respective fictional short stories. Gilman’s work, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is a first person short story in which madness is the central theme throughout. The narrator, who is also the protagonist, is driven into insanity after being prescribed the “rest cure” from her husband; her descent into madness is apparent as the story goes on. Glaspell’s work, “Jury of Her Peers,” is a third person short story in which madness acts as a secluded theme. In this story, Minnie Wright, the protagonist who is never present, murders her husband. Her drastic…show more content…
Each author portrays this state of madness with profoundness and great intricacy. Both Gilman and Glaspell show a metamorphosis of their respective protagonists from sane and logical to a twisted and demented cognitive presence. In Gilman’s story, the madness of the narrator culminates as she “kept on creeping just the same” (Gilman 10) after her husband fainted. With Glaspell’s story Minnie Wright’s slow and painful descent into a raging madness is discovered throughout the story. Her agonizing fall climaxes as Mrs. Hale realizes that “She was going to bury it (the canary) in that pretty box” (Glaspell 16), uncovering a motive for the killing of her husband. The respective protagonists were also driven into madness by their husbands and a lack of support from their friends. With the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” her husband as well as her husband’s sister were simply ignorant to her pleas for help. Minnie Wright, on the other hand, suffered from a mentally and physically abusive relationship and a lack of support from any friends at all. Despite the commonplace of men in powerful positions in each story, they are both considered feminist works as women are given a larger role and have better ideas than
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