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Compare And Contrast The Garden Party And The Yellow Wallpaper

1281 words - 6 pages

Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party” and Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” are both centralized on the feministic views of women coming out to the world. Aside from the many differences within the two short stories, there are also similarities contained in Chopin’s. Both "Party" and "Wallpaper" are what we today might categorize feminist works of fiction. Both reveal women who are imprisoned, though one is imprisoned more literally than the other. “The Garden Party” and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” such as the same concept of the “rest treatment” was prescribed as medicine to help deal with their sickness, society’s views on the main character’s illness, and both stories parallel in ...view middle of the document...

This can symbolize how she is like the shadow, imprisoned in her room and mansion. As time moved forward, the wife fully identifies with the image in the wall, and by the end of the story she locks herself in her room and frees the woman behind the bars by peeling off most of the wallpaper. In doing so she believes she has freed herself and says, “… I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”
I'm going to discuss “The Garden Party” second. The Sheridan family is preparing to host a garden party. Laura is supposed to be in charge but has trouble with the workers who appear to know better, and her mother (Mrs. Sheridan) has ordered lilies to be delivered for the party without Laura's approval. Her sister Jose tests the piano, and then sings a song in case she is asked to do so again later. After the furniture is rearranged, they learn that their working-class neighbor Mr. Scott has died. While Laura believes the party should be called off, neither Jose nor their mother agrees. The party is a success, and later Mrs. Sheridan decides it would be good to bring a basket full of leftovers to the Scotts' house. She summons Laura to do so. Laura is shown into the poor neighbors' house by Mrs. Scott's sister, and then sees the widow and her late husband's corpse. She is enamored of the young man, finding him beautiful and compelling, and when she leaves to find her brother waiting for her she is unable to complete the sentence, "Isn't life..."
To look at the stories in comparison one can identify that both of the females lived during the same era.  It was a time when women whose husbands had a decent income were expected to be demure and fragile.  Women were considered to be delicate creatures that should take to their bed and rest.  The husbands controlled the entire destiny of the woman and family.  In both stories the women are fragile women who have become psychologically ill due to the pretenses they were expected to demonstrate.
The most intense level of comparison between both is the idea of a woman seeking to define her own narrative.  The woman in "The Yellow Wallpaper" wants to write her own destiny... literally.  She wants to live her own life in battling what is post- partum depression.  She also wants to break free from her husband, his sister, as well as others telling her what to do and how to live.  Her desire to keep a diary is a part of this.  The idea of wanting to live for self- expression is powerful in the protagonist, something that motivates her to see trapped people in the wallpaper...

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