November 20, 2004
Lose the Paper Before Losing Your Mind
Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper was a long story, much better than An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge though, because it wasn't a dream!
Gilman chose to take a stand for what she beleives in; that women should be treated better. Her story portratys the way a woman (Jane) has been treated by her husband and how she can not take it anymore. Jane is confined in a small prison-like room, where she can't do anything, not even write her feelings down on paper. Her husband is never around, and she is there alone, going even more crazy than she was to begin with. Jane begins making up this person in her wall. In this hideous wallpaper; the only thing she can do is stare at it. Jane starts to imagine this woman wantin out, to be free. She compares herself to this woman, being trapped and not having anyone help her out, so Jane begins to free her. Piece by piece tearing at the woman's prison walls, and freeing her. Then by the time she frees the woman her husband catches on, he tries to go in and stop his wife, but she has locked the door. He is outside pounding and hollaring for her, when she finds a rope. She tries to tell him where the key is but he can't hear her. So she stops talking, then he opens the door and faints, as Jane is circling the room. She sees him and climbs over him. I think that she had hanged herself, and he sees this, but since she is so mad, she imagines herself still alive and climbing over him to keep moving. Think about it the rope, the way he couldn't hear her, then him passin out when he entered the room, I think we know what happened but no one wants to come to the reality of her going that mad. Well my opinion is she was pushed to far and she snapped and ended it before he could, she took her stand and finally freed herself from her hideous yellow prison.
Posted by ZacharyHarvey at November 20, 2004 9:05 PM
You make a very intersting connection between the death of the Owl Creek protagonist and the deaty of the Yellow Walpaper protagonist. Bierce uses the medium of the dream to frame the story, while Gilman uses the diary -- that is, we seem to be reading the words she is writing in some kind of notebook that she is hiding from John. Did she write additional words after she died?
I am going to have to disagree with you on the fact that she killed herself Zach. I mean how could we read what she did after she died in the first person. I believe that she attempted to kill herself, but was unable to do so.
I do however have a question for you.
Could you perhaps draw more parallels between the Yellow Wallpaper and An Occurance at Owl Creek? I like the way you started thinking there and I myself can not seem to come up with any right now. I would like to check back on this one and see what you have to say.
well I think that the bridge as a dream was to show that we can imagine our lives to be anything we want them to be. Our last few moments in life; we can make ourselves anything. Life is tough and the last few moment we have with ourselves make us feel better about how we lead that life. If our lives were lead badly, then we can redeem our mind to think we were something great. And Owl Creek showed us just that. Peyton's life was not all it should have been, but he showed us that he wanted to turn it around in the end, he wanted to become better and more of a role model.
Also the wallpaper was showing Jane's changing. She was alive and writing what she had to deal with. Tiff- her writings were found afterwards...it was not a real story, therefore her writing what she saw after she hanged herself was not important, it was just showing that she was telling the story from the afterlife, she was putting us in her shoes; looking through her eyes. Jane was changing her life by her last few moments, she was redeeming her shyness by freeing herself and the woman. Jane needs to redeem herself, because of what she did not do when she needed to stand up for herself in life. Her last moments of life she became more powerful tahn she ever was, she was stronger, and smarter. I think that these two authors were showing that life right before death was the most important time in a person's life because that time is when u can have redemption and reconciliation for your own life. This is the time when your actions can be redeemed. This is when you can become what you really wanted to be in life, with the pain and sorrow of consequence behind you and living for the moment is here.