Homework # 2: “The Chrysanthemums” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”In what ways does each character experience a miscommunication or a misunderstanding?There was miscommunication between Elisa and her husband,Henry, after he made a comment regarding how pretty she looked in a dress. She takes offense, claiming that she has always been strong. As they head down the road, she sees the chrysanthemum sprouts that she had given to the traveler on the side of the road. Then she cries.
As the story progresses, the wife discern misunderstanding regarding the yellow wallpaper. She sees behind the wallpaper begin to merge together. She claims she sees figures moving around on the wallpaper, but that could have just been her shadow from the moonlight. Either way, it paves the way for her to eventually become a woman behind the yellow wallpaperHow do you interpret “the point” of each story? The initial description of Elisa is of a woman covered by the farming clothes of a man. Her overalls and hat are men’s clothing, which de-feminizes her as a woman, hiding the features that make her a woman.
At the same time, she is not quite a man either, as she can only look on as her husband makes the cattle sale with the other businessmen.As this story is from the late 1800s, it reveals a lot of what women at the time were going through. Women had not yet been given the right to vote, let alone make enough money to support themselves. Many of them felt trapped, as if behind wallpaper.How does symbol contribute to the effectiveness of those points?As a fixer and sharpener of tools, is reflective of his character. The tools that he sharpens will eventually all become dull again, as will the fixed pots getting more dents as time passes. And it seems that for a moment he helped to fix whatever was missing in Elisa’s life, but like his sharpening and fixing of appliances, those fixes were only temporary or fake.This story is about the progression into craziness, but also freedom.
The husband represents science and authority, which often dismiss notions of liberation and imagination. In fact, the husband often talks to the wife as if she is a little girl.On their last day at the house, the wife locks the door and refuses to leave. When the husband opens the door, the wife reveals that she doesn’t want to go back behind the wallpaper, claiming that she is now one of the women behind the pattern. The husband faints and she symbolically steps over his body to freedom.