Essay Comparing The Yellow Wallpaper And A White Heron

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In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Gilman and “A White Heron” by Sarah Jewett, both authors suggest they do not necessarily like how women are treated among society. Each author shows how the main woman character in each story is subject to a dominant male figure. Although both Sylvia and the narrator struggle with male dominance, they deal with their situations differently. In “A White Heron” the boy is introduced and Sylvia is automatically afraid of him. Before she even sees him, she “is horror-stricken to hear a clear whistle…a boy’s whistle, determined, and somewhat aggressive”(140). Sylvia’s reaction to the boy’s arrival makes it apparent how inferior she already feels compared to before the boy arrived. Before he arrived, she felt at home because she was surrounded by the beautiful nature she has a connection with, but that feeling quickly went away when she realizes an intruder was also with her in the woods. Sylvia’s reaction is comparable to the narrator’s reaction in “The Yellow Wall-Paper” when she is around other people, specifically her husband. The narrator thoroughly enjoys activities like writing, but John does not like her to write. When she hears John coming,…show more content…
Although Sylvia is longing for human companionship, she feels more connected with the heron because it is a part of nature, which is a part of her. As she is ultimately deciding the birds’ fate, she does struggle with determining whether to make the boy happy, because “he is so well worth making happy” (Jewett 137) and “how the white heron came flying through the golden air and how they watched the sea together” (Jewett 137). Overall, she went against the boy, saving the herons life. This goes against what most women in society, including the narrator in “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” chooses because it does not make the male in the story

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