Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Tell-Tale Heart -- English Lit
Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Tell-Tale Heart Compare the portrayal and use of madness in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. Which story did you prefer and why? The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe both describe characters who in the opinion of other people are insane. The characters' hysterical behaviour due to their insanity is depicted as the stories progress. The Yellow Wallpaper was written for a reason to demonstrate how women were treated in society in the 19th Century. The Tell-Tale heart was written primarily for the purpose of entertainment. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe have both been written in the first person. This is for a number of important reasons. In both stories the main character's descent into insanity is effectively portrayed by the character's increasingly irrational behaviour and neurotic thoughts. If the books had not been written in the 1st person then the reader would not know the character's feelings and reactions to events in the books. By writing the stories in the first person, the reader is able to step inside the mind of the character and experience what they think. Both the stories rely on being written in the first person and would not work if they had not been written like this. The Yellow Wallpaper is written in a diary form with entries being added at different intervals: " We have been here two weeks, and I haven't felt like writing before, since that first day." It is an account of the character's most personal emotions during the period of time. She confides in her diary and... ...erred The Tell-Tale Heart for the following reasons. Firstly I found the woman's account in The Yellow Wallpaper, although interesting, a little too emotional and personal to feel comfortable for me to relate to. This may be a gender response. On the other hand, I found that I could relate more easily to the dramatic qualities in The Tell-Tale Heart and the progress towards the final denouement better captured my imagination. This story also felt more timeless which makes it far easier to relate to. Works Cited Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Tell-Tale Heart." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 7th ed. New York: Longman, 1999. 33-37. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper." The Norton Introduction To Literature. Eds. Jerome Beaty and J. Paul Hunter. 7th Ed. New York, Norton, 1998. 2: 630-642.