The Lottery And Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper are classic short stories that have a powerful effect on their readers. Through the plight of their characters, Tessie and the Jane, Jackson and Gilman masterfully introduce their readers to the harsh realities of cruel and unjust societies. Although Tessie and Jane are from two separate stories, they bare many remarkable similarities, as both women are victims of their worlds’ formidable and stifling traditions. Both of the women’s different approaches to their similar plights, as well as the treatment they receive from their husbands, create unique and intriguing characters for both stories. It is evident that Tessie and Jane are similar in that they are both…show more content…
Both women are victims of their societies, however, Tessie’s perspective on her situation differs greatly from that of Jane’s. Tessie appears to be compliant with the yearly ritual until she is the one who draws the damning slip of paper, provoking her to argue that her situation is unfair. “Suddenly, Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!” (Jackson, 224) It is apparent that she is not necessarily distressed over the practice of the ritual, but specifically that she is the victim, as she states they should start over, so that a new victim will be chosen. “I think we ought to start over,” Mrs. Hutchinson said, as quietly as she could.” (Jackson, 223) This differs greatly from Jane, who begins to sympathize with the plight of all domestic women through her experience with the woman behind the yellow wallpaper. Although she initially frowned upon the woman’s efforts to escape, the more her mental health deteriorated, the more she began to relate her plight to that of the trapped woman, both prisoners desperate for escape. With her newfound revelation, she sought to save the trapped woman from her prison, subconsciously freeing herself in the process. “As soon as it was moonlight and that poor thing began to crawl and shake the pattern, I got up and ran to help her…I wonder if they all came out of that wallpaper as I did?… “I’ve got out at last,” said I, “in spite of you and Jane! And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!” (Gilman, 185, 186, 187). Jane demonstrates a sense of compassion towards all the other creeping women, as she recognizes their shared predicament, whereas Tessie would willingly have another villager put to death in her place. Another striking difference between the two women is their relationships with their husbands. Although her
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