Theme Of Symbolism In Short Story

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The Role of the Symbolism in Short Stories’ Development Symbolism is characterized by the usage of “symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense” (“Symbolism”). This essay will focus on the symbolism and the role it plays in the development of characters and theme in two short stories: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Where are you going, Where have you been? by Joyce Carol Oates. Stories were written in different centuries, represent different situations and social layers. The main character of The Yellow Wallpaper is an unnamed woman from the upper-middle class. A dignified wife and mother, she experiences a nervous breakdown, and her husband decided to rent a distant country manor to create appropriate conditions for the woman’s recovery. The closer analysis made his benevolent intentions look more like an attempt to incarcerate the lady and limit her of activities she needed for improvement of her physical and mental state. The man believed he made effective decisions in his fight with a typical female hysteria. But, as a result, the character started to hallucinate and see a woman, imprisoned in the pattern of the yellow wallpaper in her bedroom. At the end of the story her personality totally degraded; the woman stopped to understand who she is and did not recognize her closest people: “Now why should that man have fainted?... I had to creep over him every time” (Gilman 656).
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