Describe an important experience that happened to a person or character in each text. Explain how this experience affected each person or character.
Imagine being kept in a room for months on end, with nothing to do but stare at the wallpaper. Or cleaning a house till it is entirely spotless, in order to eliminate your prints from a murder scene. These events are experienced by the female narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and Mr William Acton, in "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl", by Ray Bradbury. Both characters descend into complete madness after experiencing these predicaments.
The narrator of ?The Yellow Wallpaper? is a woman who has just given birth and has developed post-natal depression. Because of this, her husband John who is a ?physician of high standing? tells her she must stay in a room in a colonial mansion and is ?forbidden to ?work? until she is well again.? The woman has a feeling the house is haunted even though she is impressed that they are going to stay in such a place for their summer holiday. Once in the room, she notices the wallpaper, which is a horrible yellow colour. Day by day she becomes more obsessed about this wallpaper and begins to see women in the pattern. After asking her husband for consent to leave the room, he refuses and she becomes engulfed by the wallpaper, spending every moment inspecting it. On the day she is due to leave she locks herself in the room and tears the wallpaper off, in order to free the woman inside. This leads her to believe that she is one of the women who has escaped the wallpaper and circles the room claiming ?I?ve got out at last!?
The experience of being locked in a room, against her desire drove her to complete and utter madness. The narrator was prohibited to write and not allowed to leave the room and therefore must have been immensely bored. But eventually the woman found something to entertain herself- thinking about the yellow wallpaper. Her obsession and hatred of the pattern, the colour and the ?yellow smell? drags her into an intense psychosis and sends her on a downward spiral. In the journal that the woman has written she describes the effect of being forced to stay somewhere against her will. Her feelings are that she believes that she would recover from her condition a lot more quickly if she was able to socialise, which her husband does not allow her to do She is also denied the pleasure of spending much time in the ?delicious garden? which she admires from her barred window. As she says ?I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good?. Gradually, as she is cut off from all outside life and pleasures, the woman loses touch with reality. She firmly believes her husband loves her and that he is treating her this way because he wants her to get better, but in her heart she know that his control over her is only making her worse. When she tries to talk to him about what she desires, he controls her mind...