What are some examples of asyndeton in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"?

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Writers create parallel structure when they intentionally repeat word patterns and grammatical structures within sentences. Asyndeton is a form of parallel structure in which a writer deliberately omits conjunctions between words and phrases while still preserving accurate grammatical patterns. Dr. Wheeler informs us that asyndeton can "create an effect of...

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Writers create parallel structure when they intentionally repeat word patterns and grammatical structures within sentences. Asyndeton is a form of parallel structure in which a writer deliberately omits conjunctions between words and phrases while still preserving accurate grammatical patterns. Dr. Wheeler informs us that asyndeton can "create an effect of speed or simplicity," and beyond giving us the famous Veni. Vidi. Vici. example, translated from the Latin to mean, "I came. I saw. I conquered," he gives us the further example, "Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt" ("Schemes," Carson-Newman University).

In her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," author Charlotte Perkins Gilman has a tendency to use the opposite of asyndeton—polysyndeton—much more frequently than asyndeton, but we do see a few uses of asyndeton. Gilman tends to incorporate polysyndeton when expressing her protagonist's desires for freedom and use asyndeton the further her protagonist, Jane, falls into a state of madness.

The more Jane becomes tormented by the wallpaper, the more Gilman uses asyndeton. One example can be seen when Jane begins to see a bent woman skulking along the walls behind the wallpaper pattern. Jane begins to wish John would move her out of the room, and Gilman reflects Jane's desperation in simple, quick language containing asyndeton:

I wonder—I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!

Since this sentence could also be written using conjunctions to join the separate clauses, we know this sentence is a perfect example of asyndeton.

As the wallpaper continues to disrupt Jane's psyche, Jane begins to associate a smell with the wallpaper, a smell she observes all over the house. The result is that she is no longer just troubled by the room she is staying in, but rather is troubled by the entire house. Gilman continues to capture Jane's troubled psyche by describing Jane's obsession with the smell using asyndeton:

I find it hovering in the dining-room, skulking in the parlor, hiding in the hall, lying in wait for me on the stairs.

Since in this sentence Gilman does not use conjunctions to join the separate phrases in the list, we know the sentence is an example of asyndeton.

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