The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written by the author Charlotte Perkins. In her story, the author highlighted the issue of gender inequality and mental illness while offering a critique of traditional gender roles that were defined in the Victorian period. The story revolves around two main characters named John, a physician, and his wife and a housewife who is also the narrator off the story. After giving birth, John’s wife was suffering from postpartum depression. However, she was misdiagnosed by her husband who thought that the narrator who is his wife was suffering from hysteria. Despite being misdiagnosed the narrator did not question her husband regarding her condition as John was a well-respected physician. John also dismissed the feelings of the narrator regarding their house. According to the narrator, there was something wrong with the house and she wanted to stay in a room on the ground floor with “roses all over the window”. However, John insisted her to shift to the other room that was larger and airy but had bars on the windows.
John always belittles the narrator’s mental illness and her thoughts. According to John the narrator only needs rest when in reality she wanted to be more active and wanted to write. Although, the narrator's husband forbids her to write she was able to hide her diary and continued writing. In the second entry in her, the narrator discussed her failure. She was depressed that she could not give time to her baby. She was so depressed that she personified the wallpaper as watchful and malicious. Her mental health started to deteriorate as she was convinced that there were many creeping women around the wallpaper. Due to this reason, she tore the wallpaper. After seeing the horrifying walls John fainted in the doorway. Thus, due to gender roles both John and the narrator faced the consequences of being trapped in fixed gender roles that were developed by the stereotypical thinking of our society.
The story “My Son the Murderer”, is written by Bernard Malamud. The story sets in New York City during the Vietnam War in 1960. The story revolves around a father named Leo and his son named Harry. Leo is a fifty-nine-year-old man who takes a vacation on purpose from his job in the post office because he is concerned for his son Harry. Recently graduated from college, Harry a twenty-two-year-old boy is not interested in finding a job rather he likes to stay at home and watch TV. He spends his time watching TV to get an insight into the current situation, lying on a bed and taking long walks across the street. He even does not spend time with his father and is not interested in sharing his concerns and feelings regarding what he wants and what career he wants to pursue. Harry’s mother is busy with his sister as she had a bad pregnancy due to which she was unable to take care of her other children. Due to this reason, she does not have the time to confront Harry for his mysterious behavior.
Leo stalks Harry so that he can find the reason for Harry’s mysterious behavior. Leo follows Harry when he leaves the house and also searches his room. While searching for Harry’s room, Leo finds a letter. He then opens the letter and starts to read it. However, Harry catches him and becomes furious. In anger, Harry leaves the house and once again Leo follows him. Leo finds Harry standing on the beach on Coney Island. Harry was standing on a beach alone with his feet in the water. Leo tries to confront Harry and even appeals to harry by reminding him of the time when Harry was just a little happy boy. However, despite several efforts, Harry does not bother to response leaving his father thinking that what is wrong with his wrong.
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