Obsession In Tell-Tale Heart And The Yellow Wallpaper

889 Words4 Pages
Obsession is the control of one's thoughts or feelings by an idea or desire. Dark Romantic authors have used and portrayed the idea of obsession in their works to convey strong senses, emotions, and feelings. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a perfect example of a woman's thoughts controlling her life in every way possible. In the story The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator’s obsession with an object leads them to commit a cold hearted murder. Both stories depict the theme of obsession because the characters are fixated on their own thoughts and desires than on reality itself.
Gilman exerts figurative language, such as symbolism, in the story The Yellow Wallpaper. Symbolism helps portray the theme of obsession
…show more content…
Both narrators in the story fixate on particular objects. Their fixation on the items is not what leads them mad, but instead they are already mad which leads them to be fixated on the items. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator tells us about their illness from the beginning saying “It's true! Yes I have been ill, very ill” (Poe, 64). Likewise, in The Yellow Wallpaper the narrator says “You see he does not believe I am sick!” (Gilman, 93), which we can assume means she herself believes she is sick. Both of the narrators have ongoing conflict with their inner selves. The conflict relates to the theme of obsession because the inner battle the characters have with themselves, leads them to the obsession with the wallpaper and the eye, it drives them…show more content…
In The Yellow Wallpaper we know the story takes place in a nursery, “It is an airy and comfortable room as any one need wish” (Gilman, 95). Gilman uses imagery to describe the room throughout the story. As the story progresses, the narrator becomes more fixated on the wallpaper and the pattern of the wallpaper. The imagery Gilman uses helps show the obsession the narrator has with the wallpaper. The woman believes the wallpaper becomes different at night as she describes “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be.” (Gilman, 100). In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator describes the setting of the murder. We know it takes place in the old man's bedroom as the narrator says “every morning I went to his room” (Poe, 65). Poe then describes how the narrator places the dead man's body in “the boards that formed the floor” (Poe, 66). Later in the story the narrator is driven mad by the guilt they feel for killing the old man. The narrator describes how they hear a sound in the bedroom but it really is just their conscience but it leads to their confession. Poe uses imagery to describe the narrator's panic “I pushed my chair across the floor to make more noise, to cover that terrible sound.” (Poe, 67). In both stories the narrator's obsession is portrayed
Open Document