All questions must be answered in a universal theme method
For this discussion, you will focus particularly on how setting and symbols are used in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” to communicate truths about the role of men and women in marriage and the challenges that a nineteenth-century wife faced when trying to achieve a well-lived life.
Upon successful completion of this assignment you will be able to:
- Identify examples of setting and symbols.
- Explain how setting and symbols are used to communicate truths about human nature and relationships.
- Apply literary discoveries about human nature to your own personal/professional life.
- Textbook: Pearson Custom Introduction to Literature.
- File: Literary Glossary (2.2)
Read the Biographical Headnote on Charlotte Perkins Gilman (page 57).
Read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (pages 60-73) in The Pearson Custom Library of American Literature.
Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to all of the following questions:
- List two character traits evident in the narrator at the beginning of the story. Support your answer with at least one quote from the story. (Review the definition and methods of characterization in the Literary Glossary as needed.)
- List two character traits evident in the narrator’s husband, John, at the beginning of the story. Support your answer with at least one quote from the story.
- What is John’s diagnosis of the narrator’s illness, and what cure does he prescribe?
- What does the narrator think of the cure?
- What does the narrator think might be a better treatment for her condition?
- Do you think that John loves his wife and is genuinely trying to do what he thinks will be best for her? Support your answer with at least one quote from the story.
- Does the husband’s prescribed treatment seem to be working? Explain your answer and support it with at least one quote from the story.
- The narrator notices that there are rings attached to the walls of the room, and that the windows are barred. She concludes that the room must have been used as a play room, or a gymnasium for children. What does her description of the room make you think of? Explain your answer.
- What is happening to the narrator as the story progresses? Support your answer with direct reference to the text.
- The narrator notices that the bedpost appear to have been “gnawed,” or chewed on. She also notices a “smooch” or smudge around the wallpaper near the floor. By the end of the story, the reader understands (through inference) more about these details than the narrator. Explain how the bedposts and/or the smooch was created.
- What do you think the wallpaper (or the pattern in the wallpaper) might symbolize in this story? Support your answer with at least one quote from the text.
- What do you think the woman in the wallpaper symbolizes? Support your answer with at least one quote from the text.
- Why does the narrator have sympathy for the woman in the wallpaper?
- What is the narrator’s motivation for ripping the wallpaper from the wall?
- Which character in the story would you identify as the protagonist? Explain your answer.
- Which character (or force) would you identify as the antagonist? What (or whom) does the protagonist seem to be struggling against? Is the struggle real or imagined?
- By the end of the story, has the protagonist overcome or made any progress toward overcoming the struggle you identified in the previous question? Explain your reasoning.
- What does the story reveal about human nature (you may have multiple answers, but list only one).
- Compose a thesis statement for this story in the format you have used throughout the course.
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