This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Malpractice And Malediction In The Marquise Of O. And The Yellow Wallpaper

1059 words - 4 pages

Malpractice and Malediction in The Marquise of O. and The Yellow Wallpaper   

   In Heinrich Von Kleist's The Marquise of O. and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper, the female protagonist is terribly mislabeled. The inaccuracies in treatment, administered by seemingly authoritative and knowledgeable characters -- family members and a medically certified spouse, respectively -- result in tragic deterioration of the state of mind of both the Marquise and The Yellow Wallpaper's narrator. The delineation of each character's weakness is comprised of blatant references to an applied infantile image and approaching unstable mentality. In The Marquise of O, the Marquise is thrust unwillingly into the external world; in The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator is locked away unwillingly in an interior world. Though both are persecuted because of their gender, in The Marquise of O, the Marquise is troubled by the symbolic rebirth of her womanhood; while in The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator is troubled by the symbolic death of her womanhood.

Kleist begins his delineation of the Marquise with terms such as "widowed,", "a lady," and "the mother of several well-brought-up children" (Kleist 68). In this introduction the reader learns that the Marquise has experienced both marriage and childbirth. In respect to her deceased husband, the Marquise avoids remarriage and returns to her family's home with her parents, brother and children. The Marquise transforms her role as lover and wife to daughter and mother, therefore stifling an aspect of her womanhood. It is not until she is unknowingly sexually assaulted and made pregnant that her femininity is reborn.

The narrator of Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper, on the other hand, seems to be at the peak of her womanhood. She and her husband John are new parents. Reminiscent of newly married couples, the pair moves temporarily into a seemingly romantic abode, "a beautiful place" adorned with "a delicious garden," complete with "grape-covered arbors with seats under them" (42). However, the narrator is troubled by evil lurking within the home: Gilman makes several references to death. She writes, "There were greenhouses, too, but they are all broken now" and ". . . the place has been empty for years" (42) which construct the idea of dwindling life and, symbolically, her femininity. She also makes references to "riotous old-fashioned flowers. . .and gnarly trees" (Gilman 46), the plants in which her fear of symbolic death of femininity is rooted. Because she is a woman, and though there is nothing observably and physically wrong with her, John continues to repress her in the yellow room, citing general hysteria as her condition.

While Gilman's narrator is aware that her femininity is being repressed, when the Marquise realizes she is pregnant, she falls into a state of denial. She asks her doctor, ". . . How is what you say possible?", and Kleist writes, "The Marquise stood as if thunderstruck"...

Find Another Essay On Malpractice and Malediction in The Marquise of O. and The Yellow Wallpaper

Setting, Symbolism and Oppression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper

789 words - 3 pages The Yellow Wallpaper: Setting, Symbolism and Oppression of Women Have you ever been locked in a dark closet? You grope about trying to feel the doorknob, straining to see a thin beam of light coming from underneath the door. As the darkness consumes you, you feel as if you will suffocate. There is a sensation of helplessness and hopelessness. Loneliness, caused by oppression, is like the same darkness that overtakes its victim. Charlotte

Characterization of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper and Desiree's Baby

1323 words - 5 pages Characterization of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper and Desiree's Baby   There was a time (not so long ago) when a man's superiority and authority wasn't a question, but an accepted truth. In the two short stories, "Desiree's Baby", and "The Yellow Wallpaper", women are portrayed as weak creatures of vanity with shallow or absent personalities, who are dependent on men for their livelihood, and even their sanity. Without men, these women

Patriarchy and the Yellow Wallpaper

2354 words - 9 pages challenge and win. As the wallpaper deteriorates, so does the suppressing effect that male hierarchy imposed on women. Male belief in their own hierarchy was not deteriorating. Females began to think out of line, be aware of their suppression, and fight patriarchal rule. The progression of the yellow wallpaper and the narrator, through out the story, leads to a small win over John. This clearly represents and motivates the first steps of a

Women and Wallpaper: The role of women in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkin Gilman

1746 words - 7 pages partners.Gilman goes on to use "The Yellow Wallpaper" to suggest that solitary confinement and exclusion from society and normal activity can result in the instability of the mind, or insanity. This is, in fact, the reason for Gilman writing the story. She states in her essay, Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper, "It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked." She wanted to show, through her own

Women's Roles in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Withered Arm

1116 words - 4 pages Women's Roles in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Withered Arm In the late 19th century, women were expected to conform to the conventions of society. This meant that they were expected to get married young, pure and beautiful. They were treated like objects as if men bought them. How the woman felt was irrelevant in this period. Women were expected to produce an 'heir and a spare'. Women were also victim to double standards. For example

The Narrative Voice in Araby, Livvie and The Yellow Wallpaper

964 words - 4 pages The Narrative Voice in Araby, Livvie and The Yellow Wallpaper   I hadn't really considered the importance of the narrative voice on the way the story is told until now. In "Araby", "Livvie" and "The Yellow Wallpaper" the distinctive narrative voices and their influences shed light on hidden meanings and the narrator's credibility.         In "Araby" the story is told from the point of view of a man

The Oppression of Women and The Yellow Wallpaper

1524 words - 6 pages The Oppression of Women and The Yellow Wallpaper        The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a fictionalized autobiographical account that illustrates the emotional and intellectual deterioration of the female narrator who is also a wife and mother. The woman, who seemingly is suffering from post-partum depression, searches for some sort of peace in her male dominated world. She is given a “rest cure” from her husband

The Yellow Wallpaper and The Cask Of Amontillado

766 words - 3 pages The Yellow Wallpaper and The Cask Of Amontillado                       The short story, " The Yellow Wallpaper", written by Charlotte Gilman, and "The Cask of Amontillado" written by Edgar Allan Poe, are stories in which the plots are very different, but share similar qualities with the elements in the story. "The Cask of Amontillado" is a powerful tale of revenge, in which the narrator of the tale pledges revenge upon Fortunato for an

The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of an Hour

1111 words - 5 pages “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin were published in nineteenth century and have similarities in some aspects. Both of the stories have discussed on the male-dominated society and the impact of the patriarchal society on women. The women in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of an Hour” are being controlled by their husbands physically and mentally. They have been deprived the rights

The Language and Syntax of The Yellow Wallpaper

901 words - 4 pages From the minute you read the read the first paragraph until you finish the last sentence, Charlotte Gilman captures her reader s attention as her character documents her own journey into insanity in The Yellow Wallpaper.   As her character passes a seemingly indefinite amount of time, it becomes clear that her husband s treatment is affecting her.  Gilman is able convey the narrator s changing mental state through language and syntax

The Power of a Symbol in The Yellow Wallpaper, The Glass Menagerie and The Lottery

1663 words - 7 pages something different depending on the context. Analyzing five piece of literature for symbolism, one will be able to gain a deeper understating of symbols. To begin, the short story by Charlotte Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” uses the deteriorating wallpaper to represent the narrator’s failing mind. The narrator is suffering and is confined in an uncomfortable house in a room she did not choose; she becomes obsessed with the wallpaper of the

Similar Essays

The Marquise Of O By Kleist

1321 words - 6 pages In Kleist’s novella The Marquise of O, the narrative depicts the account of the Marquise of O’s, a young Italian window and a “lady of unblemished reputation”(Kleist 68), sudden impregnation and her subsequent attempts to solve the question of the paternity of her child. Through the contrasting interactions between the characters from the Marquise’s estrangement with her family to her eventual reconciliation, Kleist utilizes the search for her

Comparison Of Themes In The Yellow Wallpaper And The Metamorphosis

1047 words - 4 pages Comparison of Themes in The Yellow Wallpaper and the Metamorphosis Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" contain many similarities. They both have the common theme of the deterioration of the main character's life and mind, as well as the theme of the ostracism of outcasts in society. They also both deal with the main characters gaining a freedom through the demise of their previous lives

Symbolism And Repression In The Yellow Wallpaper

2072 words - 8 pages Symbolism and Repression in The Yellow Wallpaper        Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is as a wonderful example of the gothic horror genre. It was not until the rediscovery of the story in the early 1970’s that “The Yellow Wallpaper” was recognized as a feminist indictment of a male dominated society. The story contains many typical gothic trappings, but beneath the conventional façade hides a tale of repression

Women And Fiction In The Yellow Wallpaper

1344 words - 5 pages Women and Fiction in The Yellow Wallpaper      Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a deceptively simple story.  It is easy to follow the thirteen pages of narrative and conclude the protagonist as insane.  This is a fair judgement, after all no healthy minded individual becomes so caught up with "hideous" and "infuriating" wallpaper to lose sleep over it, much less lock herself in a room to tear the wallpaper down.  To be