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The paper discusses how these stories are essentially about survival in the face of antagonistic forces, taking the form of the medical community and society in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman and nature itself in "To Build a Fire" by Jack London. The paper also highlights how both stories speak against isolation and loneliness and their fatal effects.
From the Paper:"The woman in this story suffers on account of the wrong advice of medical practitioners of her day who couldn't connect mental illnesses to anything substantial and thus recommended isolation as the only cure. The society of the time didn't support women's intellectual activities and hence doctors denied their mentally ill patients the right to enjoy something other than domestic chores. This only compounded the problem and hence Gilman decided to speak against such medical approaches. "Charlotte Perkins Gilman placed the rest cure in the cultural context of late nineteenth century. The story was a metaphor for the lives of middle-class women trapped in other people's expectations;..." (Patarca-Montero, p. 4)
"Gilman readily spoke against isolation and its decaying effect on human mind and in a way that is exactly what Jack London says in his story, "To build a fire". In this story, a man decides to travel alone in sub-zero temperature to meet his friends after ignoring the advice that it was not safe to travel alone. The word "alone" is important here because it somehow seems that the protagonist believed that he could have survived the weather if he had not been alone. The fact that the weather couldn't have worked for anyone is completely ignored by the man as he focuses on his utter loneliness."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Labor, Earle. The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) Oxford University Press, USA (1998)
- Patarca-Montero, Roberto. Medical Etiology, Assessment, and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue and Malaise: Clinical Differentiation and Intervention. Informa Healthcare; (2004)
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper" (1913)
- The Forerunner. http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/whyyw.html
Cite this Comparison Essay:
"The Yellow Wallpaper" and "To Build a Fire" (2012, June 11) Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-yellow-wallpaper-and-to-build-a-fire-151443/
""The Yellow Wallpaper" and "To Build a Fire"" 11 June 2012. Web. 21 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-yellow-wallpaper-and-to-build-a-fire-151443/>