Charlotte Poe Essay

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monologue in Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Both Charlotte Perkins Filman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontilado" involve copious amounts of monologue. Each of these tales is narrated by a single person whose viewpoints and opinions are issued directly to the reader, coloring the events of the plot accordingly. However, there are critical distinctions between both of these tales and in both of the monologues the narrator's employ. Gilman's story is narrated by a woman whose mental health slowly, inexorably unravels -- to her detriment, and that of those who purport to care for her. Poe's story is narrated by a man who is bent on exacting revenge upon another. Thus, despite the fact that there are monologues utilized in each short story, the principle difference between them is that the monologue of Gilman's narrator spirals at its conclusion to illustrate her mental illness, whereas the monologue of Poe's narrator becomes more focused and driven at its conclusion as he become fixated on taking his revenge.

The ardor that characterizes each monologue is diametrically opposed to one another in the sense that the passion and brief flitting with madness that overcomes Poe's narrator at beginning of his tale is represented by Gilman's narrator at the end of her tale. Frankly, Poe's narrator seems the most
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distraught and mentally unbalanced at the beginning of this work -- as his monologue continues, he becomes more resolved and 'professional' in his deliberate, dedicated killing of Fortunato. At the beginning of this narration, the surplus of emotion that leads him to commit murder is apparent. Due to some unidentifiable "insult," the narrator decides he must "not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt…to him who has done the wrong" (Poe). This passage illustrates the depths of the feelings that have possessed the narrator to make him want to kill. Murder is not enough for him, he wants to commit a sort of murder "with impunity" so that the wrongdoer actually feels the intensity of the narrator's revenge. This sort of sentiment is less rational than it is pathological, especially when it is applied to a mortal crime. With feelings such as this at the beginning of his narrative, it would be easy for this narrator to take a path like the narrator of Gilman's story and go crazy at the end. Instead, he becomes less passionate and more methodical as the story wears on -- which is the opposite of what happens in Gilman's story.

The reason why the monologue in Gilman's tale is so harrowing is because it enables…

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Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allen. The Cask of Amontillado. http://xroads.virginia.edu / 1846. Web. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/POE/cask.html

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. www.gutenberg.org 2008. Web. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1952/1952-h/1952-h.htm

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper." www.charlotteperkinsgilman.com. 2008. Web. http://www.charlotteperkinsgilman.com/2008/04/why-i-wrote-yellow-wallpaper-charlotte.html

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