The Yellow Wallpaper

Effects of Realism in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”

There are several examples of the way vision establishes elements of realism in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” There is a literal vision that pertains to the senses of readers, which is created through the use of vivid details made by both authors. This can be seen when Bierce uses vivid descriptions to help portray the story of the man’s escape: Bierce writes,

“He felt his head emerge; his eyes were blinded by the sunlight; his chest expanded convulsively, and with a supreme and crowning agony his lungs engulfed a great draught of air, which instantly he expelled in a shriek!” (363).

This passage give the readers a strong sense of realism, as they can easily imagine the agonizing feelings associated with being submerged in water for a long period of time.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the descriptions used by the narrator of the wallpaper allow for readers to envision the setting the narrator is in and experiencing. The narrator describes the wallpaper as “...the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw- not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old, foul, bad yellow things” (Gilman 816). These descriptions of the wallpaper persist throughout the story,...

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