I began The Yellow Wallpaper slightly confused. I was trying to figure out what exactly was making her sick, and had initially come to the assumption that it was depression. But as things progressed it quickly became something more like schizophrenia, as she was seeing these women “creeping” around her from this wallpaper. I was trying to solve a sort of puzzle as I read, picking up pieces of clues as to what it was she had. But post-reading, that felt not quite right to me, so I reread it. The madness that she has at the end of the story isn’t something she had all along, it’s something she’s driven into. Her husband seemed to want the best for her, but the strict guidelines he forces her to follow, hoping they will help her, are in fact was drive her into insanity it seems. I found the progression of her becoming more and more paranoid and obsessed with the wallpaper actually quite incredible, and subtly well done. On a side-note, I read this on a train at night and was actually a little bit freaked out, as my imagination got the better of me as I was reading the final page with all the “creeping women” outside her window. Looking out the window into this dark forest rushing by… seemed like the perfect place for creeping. Maybe I’ve just seen too many ghost stories. Anyway, I was quite fond of the story and all it’s delicacies.
The Metamorphosis also had me slightly confused at the beginning… and also slightly bored. I got into later, but it was a slightly slow start. I was trying to figure out what was going on, if he was a human-sized or small insect, what type of insect he was, and if he could talk or not. I had heard he was a cockroach, so that’s how I pictured him, but the story never explicitly says. Relating to the yellow wallpaper, this transition is also very subtle and well done. Though George is quite suddenly and inexplicably turned into an insect, he slowly changes from a very human bug to a very buggy… bug. He clings to his humanity, but looses it in many aspects. There is a moment when he wants his furniture removed to allow for crawling about, but quickly feels a great sense of panic about letting go of these objects which tie him to his old self. But at the end we see a very significant change in him when he hears his sister’s music again. He once thought of her and wanted to send her to music school, but at the end he merely wants her to stay with him always, and play for him alone. He stills seems human because of the way his thoughts are presented, and is certainly not at all the same person he was at the beginning. He seems to stay the same as we are with his thoughts most of the story, but at the same time changes greatly.
Hope everyone had a great reading week, see you tomorrow!