What are a possible comparative thesis and comparative points for "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "Fleur" by Louise Erdrich with focus on gender? 

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is literally imprisoned in a room and this, according to her husband, is for her benefit. Her husband, John, determines that she is too mentally fragile to leave the room. The narrator's brother, also a physician like John agrees with John's advice to stay in the room. John also advises her to not even think about her condition. The advice is to stay put, not think, and listen to men. This story also underscores the traditional fallacy that women are meant to stay at home while men go out into the world: the classic Private/Public opposition. 

In "Fleur," Fleur is attacked because she steps out of her assumed role as subservient to the other men. In general, she certainly stands out and had proven she is different, and there is some tolerance of this, but the men can not take it when she beats them at their own game. After Fleur is attacked, she leaves the area and there are many myths and stories about what becomes of her. Pauline ends the story with "The only know they don't know anything." The others, namely the men, don't understand Fleur, so they make things up. The consensus is that they would rather just consider Fleur as abnormal rather than try to really understand her and what actually happened. 

Fleur acted differently, outside of what was expected of her as a woman; eventually this behavior led to her being attacked and this led her to leave. The narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" wanted to enjoy similar freedoms to act and behave according to her own will. In both stories, both women are punished for behaving in ways that do not fit traditional stereotypes for the female gender in their respective cultures: Fleur is attacked; the narrator ("The Yellow Wallpaper") is essentially imprisoned. 

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The Yellow Wallpaper

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