In "The Yellow Wallpaper," what are some specific Gothic elements, and what are their effects?

Some specific Gothic elements in "The Yellow Wallpaper" include that the story takes place in a mysterious old mansion, features a distressed woman controlled by a tyrannical man, and is dominated by exaggerated emotions throughout. The effect of these is to produce suspense and tension, initially the result of the setting and the narrator's feelings and, later, the result of the dramatic irony created by our realization that the narrator's mental health is declining rapidly.

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Some Gothic elements include a mysterious setting like an old castle or a mansion, building suspense, seemingly inexplicable events or happenings, a woman in distress who is imprisoned by a powerful man, and overstated emotions. This story is set in a "colonial mansion, a hereditary estate" that has some very strange features: on the top floor, where the narrator is forced to stay, the "windows are barred" and "there are rings and things in the walls," she says. There's also a "gate" at the top of the stairs and the bed is "nailed down" to the floor. The narrator is imprisoned on this floor by her husband and doctor, John, who makes her feel "unreasonably angry" and who does not believe that "there is something strange about the house." She also feels "basely ungrateful" for failing to value the schedule he has prescribed for her. It does not take long for her to begin to imagine that there is another woman, similar to herself, but who is trapped within the wallpaper of her room.

The effects of all of these Gothic elements is that suspense builds throughout the story. The reader can see what the narrator cannot, that she is getting more and more unwell, and this dramatic irony heightens the tension until the final moments.

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