The Yellow Wallpaper

1690 Words7 Pages

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century modernism gained great importance in fictive writing. Mentioning modernist writing, one of the first, most influential authors that should come to one’s mind is Virginia Woolf. The following work will take a closer look at her short story “The Mark on The Wall” as well as Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” regarding gender roles and feminist perspective that is portrayed in these short stories. Both stories focus on the objects which are first mentioned in the title of each story. Although they might seem to be insignificant for the reader they reappear several times throughout each story, guiding the narrator’s thought process. Moreover, a closer look …show more content…

In the beginning the differences are not quite obvious. One thinks about what they see, the thoughts drift off, leading to further thoughts. Yet, as the stories evolve, the differences become more obvious. Woolf’s protagonist first thinks of the mark, then thoughts about historical events, life in general and metacognition follow, always leading back to the mark. The protagonist of Gilman’s story begins to think about the house and the garden, then she thinks about the room and its history until she starts thinking about the wallpaper and her mind is so fixed on it that she becomes obsessed with it. The mark and the wallpaper evoke different thoughts and feelings for each protagonist. Hence, when looking beyond the surface one realises that the topics are not as similar as they appear to be in the beginning. The only thing they have in common is that in both stories the walls or rather the wallpaper and the mark play a significant role. As Harker states, “‘The Mark on The Wall’ is a story of a body actively working to control its vision” (8) in which the protagonist is preoccupied by the mark on the wall. Whereas, “The Yellow Wallpaper” as described by Kolodny tells the story of a woman with “a sane mind entrapped in an insanity-inducing situation” (154). In this case the protagonist is not preoccupied by the wallpaper, but much rather becomes obsessed with it. …show more content…

The topics both stories deal with vary in such a way

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