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In this modern society, sexual equality is a common standard between man and women. Have you ever controlled by your father or the man you beloved. A Rose for Emily is written by William Faulkner in 1930 while" The Yellow Wallpaper" is written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1899.Both story are emphasize the sexual equality with Patriarchy and Phallocracy at that time. In these two literatures, 'A Rose for Emily' and "The Yellow Wallpaper" are using third person point of view and first person point of view respectively. Both are expressing the same idea with different way and both of them are end of tragedy. We can review these two story deeply by reviewing the psychological conflicts among the characters, how Patriarchy and Phallocracy repress women's identity, how women react against inequality. We can see the self-righteous of men control women would only cause destruction to both sides and no one can gain benefit from it.
The Psychological Conflicts of Women
Firstly, we can observe the psychological conflicts among women. As we can see even the characters in both stories does not mention about how women fight against Phallocracy directly and accept this law. But actually they show some emotional changes under different kind of repression of man. In 'A Rose for Emily', Emily was controlled by her father through improper parenting style when she was young. After that, her fiance Homer Barron did not want to marry her and those repression leading her to become mental illness. She isolated herself without communication with others. Also, for the "rose" in title, we can see that symbolize that Emily's father and the burden of the family. Emily seemed to be the rose spiny would scar this girl and the people around her. And the rose inside lived a demon or the devil, he bewitched the heart of Emily and let her did an irreversible things.
While in Yellow Wallpaper, the heroines suffered from slightly mental illness. However, her illness was becoming worsened. For the wall paper in title is yellow in color. This can symbolize the change of love of John towards heroines. "There are always new shoots on the fungus, and new shades of yellow all over it."(Gilman, para.172) Originally, the wall should be white in color, but it gradually changed into yellow due to become moldy like the pure love and care shown by John towards heroines were writhed eventually. The behaviors of men cannot cure women but worsen the situation. The emotions of both women were repressed originally but finally released in terrible ways respectively.
Patriarchy and Phallocracy Repressing Women's Identity
Secondly, we can realize how Patriarchy and Phallocracy repress women's Identity. Since men are always self-righteous. They always think the things that they do must be the truth. For Emily, her father processes a hard Phallocracy with an inappropriate parenting style to her. In the story, "Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a straddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door. " (Faulkner, para.25) This parenting style of her father seemed to be a horsewhip dominating her at the back. Besides, he refused all men as he wanted Emily staying with him.Â He was really selfish.
While in Yellow Wallpaper, John only trusted in his own believe and continue to use that therapy and ignore the feeling of his wife. He tried to cure his wife by Rest Cure. Also, he prevented his wife to do something she loves as he believed that imagination is the major cause of her illness. Also," It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls. "(Gilman, para.32) He arranged a baby room for the wife. Baby always requires loves and baby is lacking in an ability to take care of himself or herself. That means John believed in his wife that she had no ability to take care of herself. Therefore, he should arrange the entire "best" things on her in order to protect her. On the surface of this action is showing care to his wife. Actually he is really selfish and this is not showing love. We can consider this kind of action is a soften manipulation on women. Besides, although room consists of the windows around, on the surface which symbolize freedom and protection, but the reality is living in the jail. Therefore, the selfish behaviors of Patriarchy and Phallocracy would only result in suffering of women.
Women React Against Inequality
Eventually, we can review how women react against inequality. In these two stories, both women are"locked in"and repressed by men. For Emily, she passively isolated herself to follow the rules without changing. She was a traditional woman who stuck to the old ways and she lived in her own world. Although she tried to accept the role of society, she still failed to open herself to other. She said "I have no taxes in Jefferson." (Faulkner, para.12) and "When the town got free postal delivery Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox to it."(Faulkner, para.50) She refused to accept taxes system and free postal delivery reflects that she was really stubborn and did not accept changing. That's why unconsciously she doesn't want to be controlled, but she didn't show that she wanted to fight against the norm directly. That was the reason why she behaved terribly to keep two bodies. For the reason of keeping her father's body, as she want to control her father to vent due to his injury on Emily. For the reason of keeping Homer's body, as Homer didn't love her, keeping his body was the only way to own the men she loved. She just tried to put the men into her own world. The terrible and improper action symbolize that she is fighting against reality to dominate the men. She demonstrated and resisted against Patriarchy and Phallocracy invisibly.
While for Yellow Wallpaper, the heroines tried to actively escape from repression. Originally she saw the changing pattern on wall and finally she tore the wallpaper. "But now I am quite sure it is a woman."(Gilman, para.153) and" There are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast. I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did? "(Gilman, para.244-245). Actually the woman that she saw was herself. She described the behavior of the woman in the wallpaper. She released the crawling woman in wallpaper and that's means she tried to give herself and the woman freedom. She tried the best to get rid of improper protection of husband. Also,
John was scared to collapse while the narrator continues to climb over his body, this clearly interprets the women's counterattack with victory, but this phenomena did not represent her revolution was successful. It was pitiful that her condition is out of control and she was no longer get rid is of the trap by herself. Besides, the crawling posture was presented as the inferior animals. In this story, the posture symbolize the women still cannot get rid of norm and they are still under classes. In both story, no matter how they react, they cannot change the situation and forced to accept the fact that Patriarchy and Phallocracy is a constant institution. Eventually, the unwanted and irreversible consequences were resulted in.
To conclude, women are living in a prison or cage like society. We can review the psychological conflicts among women, how Patriarchy and Phallocracy repress women's identity, and how women react against inequality from these two short stories. We can realize that the self-righteous of men control women would only cause destruction to both sides and no one can gain benefit from it. This would results in the unwanted and irreversible consequences. In reality, only the equality can help construct a harmonious community.