Compare The Yellow Wallpaper And Bartleby The Scrivener

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Mental illness has gripped America since its beginning; the first strides in treatment beginning in the late nineteenth century toward female “hysteria.” The industrial revolution is the first time we see men being diagnosed with more than simple insanity, realizing that the machine-inspired overworking culture of America was already full steam and driving men into the ground through mental exhaustion. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “Bartleby, the Scrivener” by Herman Melville touch on these issues and expand on how mental issues may affect others. The characters of both stories go through a mental decline, and Gilman and Melville implement point of view, symbolism, and their time period between a passive and active narrator to develop their stories in both similar and different ways. Point of view, out of these devices, is probably the most distinct way these stories differ. As you read “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” there are important differences in the point of view that allow insight on mental health for two characters both in their downward spiral. The narrator in Gilman’s work gives us a…show more content…
Both authors implement point of view, symbols, and the time period the pieces were written in to illuminate the issues with mental illness in the nineteenth century. With differences in point of view and character traits, similarities are formed with mental deterioration and the way the characters perceive such deterioration. These works pair well to tell the beginnings of mental treatment in American culture and still disappointingly reflect current social stigmas against the mere idea of having a mental illness. From America’s beginning to now, the idea has been that mental illness is a crime you must apologize and repent for because of the discomfort it causes for those around

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