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April 8, 2007

In A Ball Of Confusion Learning Who You Are

Reader, Text, and Ambiguous Referentiality in 'The Yellow Wallpaper', Feldstein

Literary Criticism--EL312

Feldstein broke down The Yellow Wallpaper into different ways to read the short story.

Confusion is Bliss

Feldstein had suggested that Gilman wanted the confusion that stemmed from the story. With the confusion, the reader wanted to know more and more about the story and about the author. By Gilman drawing us in, we are brought to the real consensus that John is the bad guy and the narrator/protaganist is going "coo-coo for Co-Co Puffs". Unsurprisingly, we are hit with confusion yet again when we are asked why are they in this position. This brings me to the next angle.

Ironic, That We Can See It This Way...

The position of the characters are confusing. That is the ironic thing, the obvious consensus I mentioned earlier is the confusing thing. Feldstein stated that:
"John, an antagonist and a proponent of realism who condemns his wife as a striken romantic" about John and

"A nameless protanganist whose ironic opposes the epirical gaze of the 19th century American realist to a modern, not romantic, configuration" about the narrator/protaganist.

So what is stated and what it actually is is two completely different things.

Posted by KevinHinton at April 8, 2007 1:20 PM


After reading this essay, I really came to the conclusion that the whole point of the essays is to make the reader realize that any piece of literature could be bent to fit any mold that the critic is determined to make do so.

I think it is up to us to take on one angle of reading any text and try to see if our theory would fit the mold of the specific piece of literature that you are reading.

And just like this essay prove...many theories apply so expect your theory to be criticized and at times, proven wrong.

Posted by: gina at April 9, 2007 1:53 PM

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