“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner Essay
The short stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner illustrate the plight of women in a patriarchal society. The female characters in these stories are oppressed and dehumanized by the overbearing male influences in each of their lives. Both characters delve into insanity as an escape from the world that devalues them. Although these stories depict a similar era and theme, the portrayal of the female characters in each story is quite different, as are the authors of the stories themselves.
Each author weaves into their stories their own perspective of women’s lives at this time based on their own life experiences, but also on their own genders. The author’s genders and view on their worlds greatly affects the way the female characters in these stories are depicted. “A Rose for Emily” is a harrowing tale of an old maid, driven to grasp for that which she is robbed. Her controlling father rips away any chance of her forming a life outside of him, and when he dies, she is left with no one.
Alone and betrayed, she finally meets a man, but discovers he is not interested in becoming committed to her. Faced with the awful lonely fate of a solitary life, she decides she shall not let him leave her, and takes action. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator is driven to insanity by her husband’s neglect. He denies that she is ill, and locks her in a room with no stimulus or pleasure. “At first he meant to repaper the room,but afterwards he said that I was letting it get the better of me, and that nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies (Gillman 56). In personifying the wallpaper in her prison, she finally escapes her husband’s grasp on her, but in doing so, also escapes reality. Readers are shown Miss Emily’s struggle from an outside point of view. Miss Emily is portrayed as a harsh recluse who commits a sickening crime. Readers can only speculate Miss Emily’s thought processes, and never delve inside her insanity. She is described as “a tradition, a duty, and a care, a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town (Faulkner 72). ” We view her as a cold, hardened woman who turns away all human contact.
Some readers are disgusted by her actions and may feel no sorrow or compassion for her, because of her harsh portrayal. Although Faulkner obviously was aware of society’s critical view of women at this time, he could not fully relate to the hardships of females. William Faulkner lived in a time where women were treated as the weaker sex, and were fully submissive to their male companions. As a male living in this time frame, he could not have fully distanced himself from his reality to write “A Rose for Emily”. He never felt trapped by a man, or withheld from his dreams.
He never experienced life as a female during this time. The outside point of view in “A Rose for Emily” is similar to the way Faulkner viewed female companions in his life. As a male, he too was an outsider to the female mind and could only imagine the thoughts of the women around him. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is viewed from the female characters point of view. Readers are aware of her thoughts, hopes and dreams, and we are guided down her road to insanity. We are able to view her thought process as she abandons reality in the hopes of achieving freedom.
The narrator is portrayed as an ill woman who is denied help and abandoned. Readers are able to view her hurt and desperation and connect with her in a way we could not with Miss Emily. We can envision her journey through mental illness, and are able to empathize with her. It is no surprise ” The Yellow Wallpaper” was written by a woman. She lived each day with the struggle of being a woman in this era. Charlotte Perkins Gilman faced a similar reality to the female character in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, and therefore brings the reader to understand the female’s point of view through her own inner turmoil. I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time. Of course I don’t when John is here, or anybody else, but when I am alone (Gilman 59). ” We feel sorrow for this woman, and can understand the nature of her illness. Readers can relate to the narrator, and feel empathy for her. The way the short stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “A Rose for Emily” are written are greatly dependent on their author’s genders. Perhaps if the author of “A Rose for Emily” were a woman, we would be able to connect with Miss Emily, and envision her pain on a deeper level.
We would perhaps have a greater understanding of her mind and the thoughts that led her to her crime and may have been portrayed as a desperate, isolated woman who committed a crime out of loneliness. If the author of “The Yellow Wallpaper” were a man, perhaps John would be portrayed as a heroic husband who sacrificed for his ill wife. Perhaps the narrator would be portrayed as a burden on her caring husband, causing him much grief and many tears. Although these stories tell of two desperate women, the point of view from which they are told, and the author’s insights greatly affect the way these characters are depicted.
Compare and Contrast Essay
Affiliation Introduction Academicians argue that, a powerful reader paints a picture on a reader’s mind. Writing effective different types of essays is increasingly becoming a critical organ of academic success (Fens & Checkout, 2014, p. 152). There are two major types of essays, narrative and descriptive. While the two might be appropriate in academic writing, one is arguably effective that the other. Narrative essays tells a story from personal experiences whereby; the use of first persona “l” is commonly used.
While it may seem convincing, narrative essay communicates shallow message to the reader. Grasping the attention of a reader requires the narrator to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Descriptive essay is the most effective writing. It not only gives the reader a broader perception of the message but also, helps in broadening the mind of the reader. An effective writer depicts the ability to paint a communicating picture in the reader’s mind. Narrative and descriptive essays have an identical objective, communicating to the reader.
While they may seem to be identical, there are several things that distinguish the two organs. For instance, narrative style is usually based on a personal experience and uses the first person tense. In academic learning, the use of first person is not highly fostered and this makes narrative essay less effective (Fens & Checkout, 2014, p. 89). In addition, it communicates shallow message to the reader and is vivid. For instance, in the essay I want a wife by Judy Brady the narrator uses first person tense throughout the essay.
This is a good example of narrative essay. Although the reader can barely understand why the narrator wants a wife and why they choose to go to school, the essay does not communicate effectively (Brady 1972, 15). An effective writer does not allow the reader to make conclusive ideas about their work. Narrative essay is evidently, less effective than descriptive essay. It narrows down every item and makes conclusions for the reader. Most readers’ intentions are learning from what they read which is helpful in their academic and which helps them in standardized learning.
An effective writer paints a picture on the reader’s mind which ensures engaging and captivating the reader (Chelsea & Research and Education Association, 2008, p. 165). Evidently, descriptive essay has been acknowledged by many educators and students as being the most effective essay in academic success. It has the ability of painting a picture on the reader’s mind with words. Using words, the narrator describes an event, place or an animal hence; captivates the reader such that they are unable to put down what they are reading.
In addition, descriptive essay paints a egger picture in the reader’s mind that leaves them quenching for more. It has the ability to string along the reader to the end before they can make a final Judgment of what the writer is communicating. For instance, in caged bird a poem by Maya Angelo, the narrator says “the caged bird sings, with fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune heard on the distant hill, fort the caged bird sings for freedom (Angelo, 1983, 8). ” The art behind the poet’s art of communication is descriptive and quite helpful in academic learning.
The poet of the caged bird engages to paint the picture of a caged bird in the reader’s mind through descriptive essay. This according to critics and low learners might be deemed as mind boggling, however; according to educators this is one of the most effective ways of learning. Narrative and descriptive essays are meant to communicate messages to the reader regardless of their different approaches. For instance in I need a wife by Judy Brady the author blatant says, “l want a wife” this communicates his main message.
On the other hand, Maya Angelo in a descriptive essay depicts the quest for freedom of laves through the image of a caged bird. At one point, the author depicts the cry of human for freedom when she says, “but longed for long for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill. There is a major dissimilarity between narrative and descriptive essay. Narrative essay is shallow and makes conclusions for the reader which might not be helpful in academic success. For example in the story I need a wife, the author openly says “l need a wife so that she can take care of my children”.
This is quite unprofessional and unhelpful to learners because the objective of learning is to place an empty mind with knowledge. The best essay engages emotional feeling of the reader. Descriptive essay is a major component of academic success. It not only broadens the mind of the reader but also, prepares learners to think broadly. In addition, it communicates a deeper message which allows the reader the ability to become effective in brain storming. In the caged bird, a poem by Maya Angelo, the poet uses the picture of a caged bird to engage the reader in the story (Angelo, 1983, 9).
The poet talks about the quest for freedom which faces majority of people across the lobe yet, there is nothing they can do about it. In the poem, the poet paints a picture of the things a free person enjoys. In the last stanza, the poet says “the free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn”. Conclusion To sum it up, it is evident that an effective essay must demonstrate the ability to captivate a reader’s mind. Based on the examples given above, descriptive essay is more superior that narrative essay.