Compare the two female protagonists in A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner (Emily), and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (the wife)?

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carolinasimon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Faulkner describes Emily Grierson as a fallen monument when dead, and a  tradition, a duty, and a care or hereditary responsibility for the town when she was alive. Emily represents the old gentile ladies of a South that no longer exists. She had been soft and kind and demure, all reasons why her father's absolute control over her life made sense.Emily is considered eccentric at best.

Gilman's narrator/wife claims herself to be ordinary (financially) and emotionally or physically sick. Her husband does not agree with her.

Both women are emotionally unstable. Emily is driven to lunacy by a controlling father and father-figures. Gilman's narrator is driven to lunacy by a controlling husband and other prominent figures in her life such as doctors. Both women represent a lack of female autonomy in respectable society and the sciences. Neither woman is allowed to make decisions for herself or her well-being, and both are driven mad by the very people and situations that control them under the guise that it will keep them sane and respectable.

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A Rose for Emily

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