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ComparativeAnalysis: The Yellow Wallpaper &amp A Rose from Emily

“ARose for Emily” by William Faulkner and “The Yellow Wallpaper”by Charlotte

PerkinGilman are two stories which have a lot in common. Any reader wouldmost likely perceive the main characters in the stories are crazyhence turning them into crazy stories. The theme of oppression andpsychological subject matter are indubitably outstanding in the twostories. “A Rose for Emily” talks about a woman named Emily wholives a very lonely life apparently due to a secluded lifestyle, herfather’s predominance over her lifestyle and Homer Barron’srejection. However, murdering someone just so you can keep them toyourself or because they rejected you is an embodiment of madness.“The Yellow Wallpaper” on the other hand is a story about a womanalso rendered captive by her own husband due to her psychologicaldisorder. This study mainly purposes to explore the two storiesrelative to comparative analysis. The study seeks to find out how thenarrative in each of the stories depict confrontation between a stateof madness and in the event depict a more chilling story between thetwo. Based on the circumstances surrounding the two main charactersin the two stories, it is arguable that some behavioralcharacteristics can be brought about by external factors.

  1. Analysis and Argument

Themadness in each of the two stories does not seem contrived ornaturally occurring. In the story “A Rose for Emily”, in whichEmily is the main character, Emily’s madness is peaks when shedecides to murder Homer just so she could have him forever afterHomer rejected her. Her greatest motive must have been loneliness. Soby murdering Homer and keeping him by her side she could get rid ofher loneliness by feeling Homer’s presence. Narrowing down to theroot cause it this madness exhibited by Emily, we can attribute hercreepiness to three main surrounding factors Homer’s rejection,her father, and seclude lifestyle. On the other hand, the story “TheYellow Wallpaper” in which Jane is the main character, she isforced to be a prisoner to her husband’s commands to stay isolated.The husband believed that Jane is mentally deranged and plans ontreating her through isolation. Perhaps Jane’s inability to beheard and the manner in which she interpreted the wallpaper in herroom made her husband think that she had a mental disorder. If thisis the case, as it so appears, then the husband is the cause of hermadness. Generally, the phenomena that seem to cause the madnessexhibited by the two characters is isolation and loneliness.According to Bond (2014), people’s minds are capable of doingbizarre things should they be separated from other humans for a longtime. An examination of the two cases reveal the concept of isolationamongst the two female characters, Emily and Jane.

Theeffects of the madness revealed by Emily in “A Rose for Emily”and by Jane in “The Yellow Wallpaper” have detrimental effects.Emily ends up being a recluse and goes ahead to kill Homer so she cankeep him for herself regardless of the fact that the man is dead. Shetherefore ends up trapped in a condemned home after her father’sdeath and the man of her dreams dead too. Basically, the effect ofloneliness experienced by Emily and the factor that her father keptchasing off her suitors transformed her into a mentally derangedvictim or a psychopath thinking that killing someone is the easiestway to make them be with you. This is undoubtable madness. On theother hand Jane’s story reveals a woman who have been transformedby isolation and loneliness into delusional character who sees itnormal to creep and crawl in the room. The wallpaper depicted Jane’snature. The two characters are literally tortured by isolation andmale predominance which cause astonishing turnout of creepy eventstowards the end of the stories.

Thenature of madness depicted in this story is a forced madness. It isquite evident that in the two stories decision making is dominated bymen to an extent that women are left with no voice even on mattersdirectly influencing their lives. The men forced the women to betrapped in loneliness and isolation while exercising the ancientculture in which women in which women opinions were never reallytaken seriously. Apparently, the psychological mindsets of Jane andEmily transformed into madness after they could not withstand thetorment brought about by isolation and loneliness.

Thenarrative depicts different forms that dominate its structure. First,omniscience is a dominant technique employed by the males, that is,Jane’s husband, her brother and Emily’s father. The males seem toknow everything and hence display a superior attitude towards thefemales. For instance, Jane’s husband and the brother decide thatshe has a mental disorder and isolating her in a room is one steptowards treating her. On the other hand Emily’s father does notwant any of her suitors around her. The first and second personparticiples are evident when Jane tries to distinguish her old selffrom her new self. Also the narrator in “A Rose for Emily” is notquite revealed. These elements make the stories interesting byhelping to drive the main theme home.

  1. Evaluation and Interpretation

Inthe story “A Rose for Emily” I believe that the presentation ofmadness is more interesting that in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.Emily’s messiness isn’t contrived. The two stories presentcharacters who have mental disorder except that the extent of madnessis presented differently in both stories hence the distinction. InFaulkner’s story Emily is depicted as an extremist. However, themost interesting part is that murder to her does not seem like a bigissue like it would seem to almost everybody. She thinks of Homer’sdeath as the only peaceful way to end the mystery of lonelinesswithin her. Furthermore, she seems so cool about it. This isbasically oblivion technique, and doing something wrong withoutknowing it is wrong seems awesome in Faulkner’s story.

  1. Conclusion

Basedon the circumstances surrounding the two main characters in the twostories, it is arguable that some behavioral characteristics can bebrought about by external factors. This study has comparativelyanalyzed the stories “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkin Gilman. The main themehere revolves around the two main psychotic characters in each of thetwo stories. However, the most disturbing thing is the existingoppression in the two stories. The study points out the perception of‘women being there to be seen and not to be heard”.


BondMichael. HowExtreme Isolation Warps the Mind.BBC. (2014, May 14). Retrieved from (Web).


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Beforebeing nominated by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court on May2010, Elena Kagan was occupying the position of Solicitor General, infact, she was the first female to occupy the position. After hernomination was confirmed by the Supreme Court, she resigned herposition as Solicitor General. The vacancy she was to fill was leftby Justice John Paul Stevens who was known to be on the liberal sideof the court. Upon her nomination, Kagan was not only the youngestmember of the current court but also the only justice with nojudicial experience. Thus the circumstances surrounding hernomination caught the attention of other court members. Her approvalraise the number of female justices in the country’s highest courtto three, something that had never been experienced in the U.Shistory. Other women included Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth BaderGinsburg. Therefore, the nomination of Kagan tried to bring aboutgender balance in the court.

WhenKagan was nominated, she was positively perceived by Democrats mainlybecause she never came from the so called `judicial monastery`. Also,those who perceived her positively acknowledged her abilitiesportrayed through her past experience in the public office. However,the Republicans responded to her nomination with heavy criticism. Shewas criticized over poor handling of military recruiters at the timewhen she served as Dean of Harvard Law School. Her nomination was insome way unusual, the senate confirmed her nomination with a vote of63-37 and she became the fourth woman to sit on the high court.

Theappropriate role of the senate in the Supreme Court nominations is tohear testimonies of nominees and respond to questions asked by thesenate (Gerhardt, 2016). Therefore, the president of the UnitedStates id only tasked with nominating people who are deemed suite foroffice in the Supreme Court then forward their name to the senate sothat they may be approved. Furthermore, all the members of the senatemay fail to agree on some issues while evaluating the competence of anominee. In this case, I believe that voting should prevail so thatverdicts are reached through a majority vote.

However,voting can sometimes be misleading if an issue at hand is tied topolitics so that the judgment of members of the senate is clouded bypolitical viewpoints. For instance, John Rutledge happened to be thefirst Supreme Court nominee to be rejected by the senate in 1795after his nomination by President George Washington and the rejectionwas mainly due to the difference in political viewpoint (ExploringConstitutional Conflicts, n.d). Basically, Rutledge was opposing atreaty that had gained popularity in Federalist-controlled Senate andmajority of the senate did not like this. Thus, if the senate decidesto make decisions based on voting, they must have fully discussed thematters at hand and determined if the nominated individual is worthconsidering. That is, I believe in logical reasoning beforeexercising democracy.

Oneother impact that may be brought about by voting is that it is likelyto bring about imbalance in the court. Assuming that one nominee is amale while the other is a female and the senate already has a genderimbalance. There are high chances the leading gender in the senate interms of numbers is likely to favor a gender of their own from thenominees. Altogether, it is still hard to determine the mostappropriate method that should be used by the senate in confirmingnominated individuals. This is because for a long time there has beengender imbalance in the Supreme Court to an extent that when ElenaKagan qualified as a Supreme Court judge it turned into a story thatlives to be told.


GerhardtMichael. Getting the Senate’s responsibilities on Supreme Courtnominations right. (Posted March 19, 2016) Retrieved from the-senates-responsibilities-on-supreme-court-nominations-right/(Web)

ExploringConstitutional Conflicts. Judicial Confirmation and the Constitution.(n.d) Retrieved from (Web)