CP Gilman: “The Yellow Wallpaper” Short

Short Answer & Essay Exam
C.P. Gilman: “The Yellow
Dr. Theresa Thompson
English 2060
Spring 2009
Literary Terms & Devices
Allegory (1354)
Short story (1373)
Theme (1376 & my def.)
Symbol (use Forster)
Trope (metaphoric language)
Simile (1373)
Metaphor (1366)
Metonymy (1366)
Monomyth Structures
(Campbell handout)
Gothic (this lecture)
Irony (72, 1365, & Forster)
Tone (1377)
Protagonist (1371)
Antagonist (1354)
Action (plot) (1369)
Context (setting)
Motif (my definition)
Pay attention to directive language.
Short Answer questions.
Be able to define and apply all literary
Be able to identify text by author, title,
characters, plot events.
Essay question.
Be able to write a complete essay applying
syntopic analysis, quest structures, etc.
An example short answer
The following passage is an example of what
specific literary device? Explain the
significance of this literary device for
understanding this work’s theme. Identify the
work by its author and title, and state its
theme in one or two sentences.
“Oh, my poor Mathilde! Why, my necklace was
paste. It was worth at most five hundred francs!”
Background: Author-Text Focus
for “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Textual Clues to Cultural Background
19th-c. childbirth
Postpartum Depression (72-3)
Weir Mitchell’s rest cure (75)
Gilman’s opinion.
Does Gilman’s biography influence tone,
symbols, plot?
Does background hint at any “universal” theme?
Some Literary
Gothic Features
Context, Conflict, Climax
Context (setting & tone)
Spaces / places: Gothic
Time: season: summer (70), day / night, century
Tone: what is the implied attitude?
Sex and Death: Fainting,
frightened, screaming, nearnaked women. Women
threatened by powerful,
impetuous male.
Ancient spaces and places: castles,  The metonymy (part for the
etc. (70)
whole) of gloom and horror
Ancient prophecy, especially
(wind, rain, doors grating on
rusty hinges, howls in the
mysterious, obscure, or hard to
distance, distant sighs,
understand.--the wallpaper?
footsteps approaching, lights in
Mystery and suspense. (71)
abandoned rooms, gusts of
High emotion, sentimentalism, but
wind blowing out lights or
also pronounced anger, surprise,
blowing suddenly, characters
trapped in rooms or
and especially terror. (71)
Supernatural events (e.g. a giant, a
 The vocabulary of the gothic
sighing portrait, ghosts or their
(use of words indicating fear,
apparent presence, a skeleton).
mystery, etc.: apparition, devil,
Omens, portents, dream visions.
ghost, haunted, terror, fright).
Denouement & End
Conflict resolution (82)
End: the conclusion (83)
Science v. art (imagination) (70)
Work v. rest (71)
Pattern / confinement /duty v. Freedom (72, 73, 745)
Health v. illness (70, 76)
Climax (80-1, 1357)
The nursery wallpaper (72)
Patterns: sex and the immovable bed (75)
Why are the women not walking like
Paper itself as symbol for … ?