Comparing The Yellow Wallpaper And The Red Room

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The gothic genre is often regarded as a variation on it’s sub-genre, gothic horror. Containing all of the cliches and literary tropes that are common within the horror texts. However, the gothic genre expands exponentially from the original horror basis, incorporating physiological, and mysterious subtexts. The Red Room by H.G. Wells, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson, and A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, are three widely known gothic texts. These three text’s display varying powerful, thought provoking storylines and to an extent all contain stereotypical gothic settings, atmospheres, characters, and themes. These four components within the aforementioned texts will be identified and compared within this essay. Setting…show more content…
In The Yellow Wallpaper and The Red Room the story is dictated through first person point of view, the narrator being the protagonist. This however, leads to the gothic literary cliché of an unreliable narrator present in all three texts. In The Yellow Wallpaper the narrator is a woman slowly descending into madness. This is displayed prominently through the change in her descriptions and her interaction with other characters which goes from positive and trusting to suspicious and vividly negative. In A Rose for Emily the narrator is never introduced and is seemingly a town gossip. This is determined due to the fact that the only internal views the reader receives of the reclusive Miss Emily Grierson’s life and home is when others from the town are allowed inside her home. Gossip narration is never reliable and is often leaves the novel open ended as the true story is left undisclosed. The most reliable of the three narrators is the narrator of The Red Room he has no real reason to be unreliable. The only reason this narrator would lie is to keep his tough, and collected nature in the face of fear. There are other common character roles displayed in these texts. In The Yellow Wallpaper there is the typical strong male character John ‘protecting’ his wife the narrator who is in need of help and security. The Yellow Wallpaper beautifully…show more content…
In A Rose for Emily and The Yellow Wallpaper the main theme of the text is madness. The Yellow Wallpaper is entirely based around one woman’s decent into madness. Through first person point of view the reader is allowed access into the narrators mind as she turns away from sanity and becomes suspicious and hateful fixated on the abstract, repetitive yellow wallpaper and others interactions with the wallpaper. This is displayed when the narrator believes that “John and Jennie are secretly affected by it” and when the narrator approaches Jennie as she watches the wallpaper. In A Rose for Emily Miss Emily is infatuated with her friend Homer Barron who “himself had remarked - he liked men’. Due to this fact it implied that Miss Emily murdered Homer Barron out of spite and then resolved in keep his corpse near her in order to create the life that Miss Emily and her father saw fit for a young debutante such as herself. A common theme that all three stories share, and near to all gothic texts maintain is Mystery. In The Red Room the mystery of the “haunted” Red Room hovers over the characters as they discover the supernatural curiosities within. In The Yellow Wallpaper the great mystery revolves around the woman in the wallpaper is she real or simply a figment of the narrators imagination. Finally, in A Rose for Emily the entire story is shrouded in mystery as the town

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