Charlotte Perkins Gilman v. David Foster Wallace. Compare and contrast "The Yellow Wallpaper" with "The Depressed Person."

| February 10, 2014

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Compare and contrast “The Yellow Wallpaper” with “The Depressed Person.” What theories do these stories advance about the etiology, definition, experience, or meaning of mental illness?
Analyze your evidence for a meaning more substantial than what is immediately evident on the surface. You might focus on the authors’ use of language at the level of words and sentences, or you might look more at themes. You may take into account the eras in which they were written, the attitude of the narrators towards the protagonists, or the symptoms the stories’ characters display. Where do these two texts agree and how do they differ in their presentation of mental illness? Do not simply go back and forth between the two (i.e., “He says this, but she says that… they both say this…”); rather, look carefully at both stories and then come to a conclusion of your own about these texts. Make a specific argument about what these two stories do or don’t say about mental illness.
Write a five-page paper that examines the texts closely and is informed by larger questions about the representation of mental illness. Your paper should have a specific argument — that is, it should not simply be descriptive but must interpret evidence in the text to make a convincing point that is not immediately evident and that may or may not be true. Your paper should integrate quotations as well as summary and paraphrase. You do not need to use any secondary sources, and for this paper you do not need citations beyond page numbers for direct quotations. If you want to incorporate secondary sources, please speak with me first.
Your paper should be double-spaced, paginated, stapled, and in 12-point font with normal margins. It must be at least five full pages long and shouldn’t be more than seven.
Please Note:
The stories are short and are a few pages each.
No secondary sources are required.
PLEASE read the instructions in full. Thanks.
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