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The Importance of Setting in The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Gilman

The Importance of Setting in The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Gilman

In the short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” by Charlotte Gilman, the setting contributes to the narrator’s insanity. When she first sees the house, she loves it. She thinks the house will be a perfect place to recover from her “nervous condition,” but that does not happen because her husband confines her to the bedroom so that her health will improve. The narrator’s mental illness deteriorates to the point of insanity due to her isolation in the bedroom, with only the yellow wallpaper to look at that she considers “repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow,strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” (106).

At the beginning of the story, the narrator is moving into a house that she is renting while her house in being renovated. She describes the house as “The most beautiful place! It is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village. It makes me think of English places that you read about, for there are hedges and walls and gates that lock, and lots of separate little houses for the gardeners and people” (105). This quote reflects that she considers this house as a place only the noble could live in. She has only read about homes like this, and she never thought that she would be living in one. She seems happy that she will be able to rent such a house. She adds that “There is a delicious garden! I never saw such a garden–large and shady, full of box-bordered paths, and lined with long grape-covered arbors with seats under them” (105). This adds to the elegant and royal qualities that the narrator believes the house has.

In the middle portion of the story, the narrator’s description …

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The narrator, already suffering from a “nervous condition,” is forced to stay in her bedroom for most of the story. Her husband does not let her do anything that may take the least bit of energy because she needs to concentrate her energy on getting well. Her mental condition quickly deteriorates from the original “nervous condition” to complete insanity due to this isolation. As the narrator begins to see figures behind the wallpaper, the reader realizes that the wallpaper is a manifestation of her condition.

Work Cited

Gilman, Charlotte. “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” Literature and the Writing Process. Eds. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice, 1996. 105-115.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. 981- 982.

Essay on the Battle of the Sexes in Taming of the Shrew

The Battle of the Sexes in Taming of the Shrew

Battle of the Sexes would have been another appropriate title for this play because the entire play is women verses men, men verses women. This battle of the sexes shows no boundaries between the rich and poor, young or old, man or women. The basis of all the rivalry stems from the fact that the men in this play look at the women as if they were objects, instead of human beings with feelings. This theory that women are merely objects creates an environment that the women have to adapt to and survive in and the environment of a person will depict what he or she will become, resulting in a battle between the sexes.

The Taming of the Shrew is set in a time period that did not accept women as we do today. In today’s society, women who are strong and independent and quick witted are praised. In Elizabethan times women were supposed to know their role in life, being good to their husbands, making children and taking care of them. There were no women in politics, there were no women in business, it was only acceptable for women to participate in domestic areas of life. Women could not live a respectable life in this time period without a male figure to take care of them, rendering them helpless without men. If there was anything that must be done involving economics or education, it was up to the men. Men were the ones who worked and brought home the money to support the family. The roles of men and women were very distinct, and it resulted in giving the men the majority of the power.

In the taming of the shrew, the play focused on two women in particular, Baptista’s daughters, Bianca and Katherine. These women lived in this environment that gave men power for all their lives…

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… for both sides. In the case of Katherine and Petruchio, the battle is won because they both love each other and live happily ever after. The battle of the sexes between Bianca and Lucentio is lost because neither is willing to love each other.

In the Taming of the Shrew, the battle of the sexes is more so in the mind of each and every woman, rather than an actual battle between men and women. It is a battle that the women have to overcome in order to be able to enjoy life and to love their husbands, and situations like the fights between Katherine and Petruchio are symbolic of this. When a woman, like Katherine is able to see that love is something that has no roles, or expectations, is when she and her husband can “live happily ever after”.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew. Ed. David Bevington. New York: Longman, 1997.

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