The Yellow Wallpaper

Trapped in the Wallpaper: The Impact of First-Person Narrative on Reader Empathy College

The short stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell are somewhat similar. Each story is set in a different time and place, with different characters, different plots, and with considerably different narrative styles: they are very much separate, yet they are also analogous to each other. They each feature a revival of self, or the emergence of a new self awareness that had not previously existed in the main character. “The Yellow Wallpaper” employs an empathy-garnering narrative style that makes it more effective in allowing the reader to experience the awakening along with the narrator than “A Jury of Her Peers.” The first-person narrative connects the reader to the narrator, separates the reader from secondary characters, and uses deep, primal emotions to create a more relatable, personal experience.

The respective stories of the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Mrs. Peters in “A Jury of Her Peers” have distinct similarities. Each has an revival of self in which she reclaims her stolen autonomy from the man in her life. In “The Yellow wallpaper,” the unnamed narrator is locked away, with the eponymous yellow wallpaper, writing her story as a rebellious act and...

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