The Yellow Wallpaper vs The Fabled Lighthouse of Vina del Mar: Compare & Contrast
“The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Fabled Lighthouse of Vina del Mar” are stories that highlight important aspects of society. In both stories, the characters are in confinement which impacts negatively on their mental status. In the book “The Yellow Paper”, the main character is put into confinement for three months by her husband who is a physician. This was referred to as rest cure which was common at the time for most women. However, this kind of treatment was not as effective as the character started experiencing a mental breakdown. The story highlights one of the cultural issues in society that touches on feminism. Since all the decisions were made for the woman, it is an indication that the men in society are afraid of giving women the possibility to make their decision. Men in society always want to dominate women and will go at any length. This includes the confinement of women with an aim of preventing them from climbing the ladder of success. It is for this reason that Jane, the woman in the story who was also a journalist was not allowed to write or read anything (Gilman, 8). This is an indication that she was being denied her rights which contributed to her domination. Her husband on the other hand fully controlled her during the process and made decisions for her. This form of confinement has a negative impact on the mental status and hence impacts negatively on the ability of the individuals to make decisions.
The story also highlights the fears that most of the people in society face. Loneliness or isolation is one of the greatest fears that the people in society face. During the confinement period, the individual undergoes a lot of mental problems. The mental status of the people who are confined is usually affected and hence contributing to the mental illness. Most people in society are also afraid of the people who are suffering from mental illnesses or conditions. Although the character in the story may have not been suffering from mental illness, her husband had to isolate her for the fear that she may end up with mental illnesses. The oppression against women is also an issue of concern in the society that has been highlighted in the story. The women who had given birth were subjected to ill-treatment and this was through isolation in the name of acting in the best interest of the women. The women were not allowed to make any decision with regards to the process and hence amounting to ill-treatment of the women. The gothic concepts are also evident in the story through the horrors that the character was facing. Her actions are also portraying some form of horror which cause fear in society. The women in the society also have undergone a lot of suffering due to the cultural beliefs which are meant to ensure that the men dominate the women in society. The story is thus useful in terms of reflecting the fears and activities that take place in society despite the story being written over a century ago.
The Fabled Lighthouse of Vina del Mar
The concepts of gothic literature are also evident in the book “The Fabled Lighthouse of Vina del Mar”. In the book, the character goes to live in the lighthouse that is located in a remote area in the pacific (Chabon, 12). This takes place after the death of his wife which fills him with a lot of sadness. It is however important to note that he goes to live there of his own will and had a diary where he wrote what was taking place. The story plays an essential role in highlighting the issues of mental problems that usually affect most of the people in society after the death of their loved ones.
Death is one of the events that are feared most in society. In most cases, it becomes difficult for family members or loved ones to adjust to the situation. This problem is common in society and it may affect the members concerned for a long period of time. The situation usually forces individuals to take certain actions for the purpose of trying to adjust to the situation. It is for this reason that the character in the story went to live in the remote pacific lighthouse. During the time he was involved with sea creatures that may have only existed in his imaginations. This is due to the mental problems that he suffered from due to his condition. The life at the lighthouse was also filled with a lot of confusion.
Cultural issues also influence individuals when they lose their loved ones. In most societies, the people who have been widowed are usually forced to go into seclusion. This separates them from the rest of the community and hence affecting their mental status. Most people in society therefore fear this form of seclusion due to the loneliness that it brings to the people involved. On the other hand, the story plays an essential role in highlighting the problems that widowed people usually undergo in society. Some members of the society may end up looking down upon the people who are widowed and hence contributing to the isolation from the members of the society.
The isolation contributes to the problems that the widows end up within society. Society has different opinions with regard to the separation of the members of the community. In most cases, society tends to isolate the people who are faced with certain problems and hence impacting negatively on their mental health. The isolation however causes much harm to the individual as compared to the gains that the society believes it may have. Most of the people in the society therefore fear being widowed due to the loneliness and isolation that comes with it. Both stories, therefore, indicate that isolation is one of the tools that are usually used by the community to deal with people who are facing certain problems. However, this does not provide any solution but it instead impacts negatively on the members of the community who are concerned.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. The New England Magazine. 1892.
Chabon, Michael, ed. McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories. Random House LLC, 2007.