Tag Archives: First Person Narration

A Rose for Emily from Tobe’s perspective

Part 1: Retelling

1

Miss Emily has been so ill up till now. Not sick in the body, but sick in the soul. Ever since Mr. Grierson died she’s been having difficulties. First, she almost seemed like she was in denial about his death, not allowing anyone in to remove his body, parading around for people, acting as though she wasn’t hurting. She did give in, eventually, but it took so long! I worry for her. She asked me to cut her hair. I didn’t want to, a woman her age ought to have at least shoulder length hair, but she made me cut it down to just about her ears. She looks younger, not how a lady her age should look.

Still, she’s at least socializing again, going out and about. There’s a new man in town, from up north. He’s a foreman for the company doing some civic construction in town, something or other Barron. I’m not sure how much I like the fella, but Miss Emily has taken a liking to him. He’s loud, and rude, and loves to be the center of attention, just like the yankee he is. He comes around most weekends and takes her for rides in the buggy, and then comes in here and order me around like I’m one of his workers! I wish one of us would leave so I’d never have to see him again.

 

2

Miss Emily and Homer have been consorting for over a year now. No one approves, and I think they know. Some of the Cousins Grierson have come to try to dissuade Emily from associating with Homer, which is for the best. He stays out late with the other men, drinking and doing Lord knows what. As they say, “He’s not the marrying kind.” She should be focused on a suitor more appropriate, someone from town, perhaps.

Not even the local minister approved, seeing as he came around to try to talk to her about it. At least, I believe he wanted to talk about that. All I really heard after l let him in were some raised voices on Emily’s part. He left shortly after, and she was not dissuaded at all since she’s still riding with Homer on the weekends and has even recently purchased a handful of presents for him, things that indicate a more intimate relationship than what they’ve shown so far. I believe she is planning something for him soon, a grand gesture. Whatever is to come, I hope it comes without her kin here. They are so difficult, bless their hearts!

 

3

Lord forgive us! We have committed the greatest sin! For weeks now, the Cousins Grierson have been haunting the halls in this house, whispering terrible things to Miss Emily, telling her that she’s throwing dirt upon the Family Name for being involved with a northerner, an “enemy”. I thought she was just letting their words roll off her back like water, but she had been listening the whole time! She’d just taken the words in her self, bottled them up and let the shame ferment. Her own blood had poisoned her, and then quickly fled!

When they had left, Miss Emily pulled me aside and explained all this. She kept going, telling me she loved Mr Barron, she wanted to spend forever with him, couldn’t handle him being with another woman, all of this. Then she told me her family and the people in town would never allow them to be together, which I already knew, but she even went so far as to admit her guilt about it all. She would not allow herself to be with him, no matter how much love she felt for him! So she continues, telling me of the arsenic she bought from the chemist and how she plans for me to use it in his food when he returns! God have mercy on me, I didn’t argue with her. I hate that man, and it would make her so happy! She’s all I worry about now.

Homer Barron came for supper and a chat the next evening. I had a stew on the cooker for the whole day, and fresh made rice. Emily and the man sat at the table, talking quietly and intensely, sipping on sherry. The arsenic came in a small brown bottle and in the form of round pellets. The instructions said to mix with water and pour onto the bait, so I just poured some into Homer’s stew bowl and served them both, careful not to mix up whose is whose. I then sat down in the kitchen, eating my own supper while listening to their conversation. Listening as Miss Emily cried and Homer became more and more tired in his responses. He didn’t understand what she was saying by the end. After a time, he asked to lay down until he felt better and his headache was gone. As I helped him carry himself up the stairs to the guest bedroom, he spilled blood from his mouth and it made the steps slick beneath our feet.

Well, I got him up into the bed and laid him down. Miss Emily asked me to leave the room and I heard her beginning to sob on my way out. Now I’m just sitting on my own bed coming to terms with what we’ve done. We killed that man! If any of the people here in town found out, Miss Emily would be locked away and I would be killed! Lord forgive me, no one can ever know.

 

Part 2: Examination

For my retelling I chose A Rose for Emily, but from the perspective of Tobe during the time leading up to Homer Barrons murder and directly after it. Instead of being a stream of consciousness type of first person narration, I chose to do it as more of a journal style. While A Rose for Emily is written in a first-person point of view from a character who was not involved in the events of the story and is therefore somewhat unreliable, and portrayed Emily as a near invincible character, my retelling is a first-person point of view from a first-hand perspective, and shows Emily as a more vulnerable, human character while in her own home.

One of the more prominent themes of A Rose for Emily is gossip. The whole story is told through a second hand recounting of the events, with townspeople constantly remarking about Emily and her family. They talk of her great-aunt and how she went crazy, and they talk about how the Grierson family, whether they are “like a tableau” or how little was left to Emily after her father passed.

“That was when people had begun to feel really sorry for her. People in our town, remembering how old lady Wyatt, her great-aunt, had gone completely crazy at last, believed that the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were. None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such. We had long thought of them as a tableau, Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door. So when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased exactly, but vindicated; even with insanity in the family she wouldn’t have turned down all of her chances if they had really materialized.”

In my retelling things are more intimate, told through the eyes of Tobe who witnessed everything that happened in the house. He sees things about Emily that others would not know, and his comments are based on that, like how fragile Emily really is.
“Miss Emily has been so ill up till now. Not sick in the body, but sick in the soul. Ever since Mr. Grierson died she’s been having difficulties. First, she almost seemed like she was in denial about his death, not allowing anyone in to remove his body, parading around for people, acting as though she wasn’t hurting. She did give in, eventually, but it took so long!”

The next difference between the original story and my limited retelling is how the people in each version perceive Emily. In the original version, peoples views of Emily are pretty much split down the middle, with some people thinking of her as southern nobility and others thinking she’s no better than them. Another thing people are split on is her relationship with Homer Barron. Some people were supportive, saying she deserved to be happy, while others were disapproving.

“At first we were glad that Miss Emily would have an interest, because the ladies all said, “Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer.” But there were still others, older people, who said that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige—without calling it noblesse oblige.”

In my retelling, Tobe has a much more mixed view of Emily. He’s disapproving of Homer for a few reasons, but he also wants Emily to be happy and he does anything to make sure she is. He also thinks she’s a great, incredible woman while still being aware of her shortcomings and weaknesses.

“I worry for her. She asked me to cut her hair. I didn’t want to, a woman her age ought to have at least shoulder length hair, but she made me cut it down to just about her ears. She looks younger, not how a lady her age should look.”

The biggest difference between the two versions is the role of Tobe in the stories. The original version barely makes any use of him, really only mentioning him in reference to the house they live in. He’s mentioned as letting people in to the house, being blamed for the stench surrounding the house after Homer is killed, and as doing the shopping for the house. He never speaks or shares his thoughts, and is only ever spoken to by Emily.

“And so she died. Fell ill in the house filled with dust and shadows, with only a doddering Negro man to wait on her. We did not even know she was sick; we had long since given up trying to get any information from the Negro. He talked to no one, probably not even to her, for his voice had grown harsh and rusty, as if from disuse.”

In my version Tobe is the narrator, so everything is from his perspective. I explore how he might possibly feel about Homer Barron, what he thinks about Emily, and his involvement in Emily’s crime. I go into detail about the murder, how Tobe was actually the one to poison him and how he assisted Emily in getting Homer into the bed, since she would not have been strong enough to do it on her own. This is a huge departure from the original version in which he is little more than a background character.

“I had a stew on the cooker for the whole day, and fresh made rice. Emily and the man sat at the table, talking quietly and intensely, sipping on sherry. The arsenic came in a small brown bottle and in the form of round pellets. The instructions said to mix with water and pour onto the bait, so I just poured some into Homer’s stew bowl and served them both, careful not to mix up whose is whose. I then sat down in the kitchen, eating my own supper while listening to their conversation. Listening as Miss Emily cried and Homer became more and more tired in his responses. He didn’t understand what she was saying by the end. After a time, he asked to lay down until he felt better and his headache was gone. As I helped him carry himself up the stairs to the guest bedroom, he spilled blood from his mouth and it made the steps slick beneath our feet.”

All in all, both versions are light on details surrounding what actually happened to Homer Barron and why he was killed, as well as his relationship with Emily, but my retelling provides a bit more context from Tobe’s point of view in the story. I felt that Tobe was an overlooked character who no one paid much attention to in the original, and I think my retelling also explains some of his behavior throughout the story, like him refusing to speak to townspeople and running away once Emily had died.

Change of Narration in “A Rose For Emily”

Project Part 1 -> First Person (Emily’s Perspective) 

   One day, I decided to go to the arsenic and wanted to buy some rat poison. The rule in this town is that whenever someone buys poison, they have to say why they are buying it and for what they are going to use it. Due to the previous dilemmas of my father dying and me not feeling like myself, I Just stared at him without saying a word. He also was looking at me with his big round eyes, but in a few minutes he wrapped up the poison and decided to give it to me. Without any extra words, I left and started to walk down the street.I knew that people around me were all thinking that I bought this poison for myself and that I was going to kill myself. But those fools did not know a single thing. Throughout my whole life everything was chose for me, whether or not something happened depended on my father’s wishes. After my father’s death, the only thing of value that I have left is my family title. A family title that is honored throughout the town and no one dares to go against me.

   Before I never had a choice to choose on who to love or who to care for, but for some reason Homer Barron’ really stuck to me and now I feel like I need to keep him forever. This poison that is in my hands will make sure to keep him next to me until my death. This time, no one will choose for me or make decisions without my acknowledgement. This is something that I purely settled on myself. That same night I decided to invite Homer over, and while he was occupied I put some droplets for the poison in his glass. In a few minutes he started to feel unwell. At that time he was talking about how we can leave this old town and move to somewhere quite. We would have a happy family and a house. My eyes met his and I started feeling this emotion of regret. Maybe I should not have done this, maybe I should also drink this poison, to join him in the afterlife. Right as I thought that, Homer fell to the ground and ceased breathing. I brought him upstairs and put him on the bed. This was the best time to do this because, the word spread that he was leaving town. So nothing would be suspicious at all.I stopped letting people into my home, unless it was the servant who brought the food for me. Each morning and night I laid next to his body and treated him like a living person. Years went by and time came for me to also lie down next to him. Whenever the town find out that I have died, they will probably break through all the doors and  find Homer stuck to the bed after all these years. Whatever they will think about me won’t matter anymore, I was finally able to do something for myself without and third party helping me or forcing me. I guess you can say that our love was eternal.

Project Part 2-> Reasoning for changing perspective

Throughout the story of “A Rose for Emily” the narrator that is telling the story is not the protagonist but someone from the town or one of Emily’s servants. Due to this, the narrator cannot be too trustworthy because they are telling the story from their perspective and from what the think happens/happened. This is exactly why i chose to write a part of the story as a homodiegetic narrator. In other the narrator that takes part in the story itself. One of the biggest changes with using the narrator as the protagonist is that the ending and the start of the story can vary. In the original story Emily dies and then we get to imagine and see through the eyes of the town like we did throughout  the whole story what they found in her house. But with the part that i rewrote, the story cuts off after Emily’s death. I could have added like an imaginative ending, of how she tells us about what happened after her death, but that would seem highly absurd. Changing the perspective from the town to Emily, we are able to see and experience the story in more detail and a bit differently.

As stated before, most of the information we learn about Emily and her family are from the town folk or maybe even the servants that took care of Emily after her father’s death. Everything we hear are just speculations and opinions from others. For example when Emily buys the rat poison, the narrator says this “So the next day we all said,She will kill herself”. This opinion was plausible but incorrect. When I rewrote the story through Emily’s point of view, I made sure to import this part and show that no one actually knew anything about her plans and her feelings. They didn’t even have a clue that she will use the poison on Homer Barron. When looking through the Emily’s eyes, we get to actually feel this sense of lost hope and desperation. After her father’s death, she could not accept it for couple of weeks. Losing someone that you knew your whole life can have a huge toll on your body, mentally and physically. Even though she also felt some relief of losing the person who was controlling her life, she still felt some emotions of depression. When we are told the story, we are barely shown this side of her, everyone thinks that things will get better, she will get married and move on. Sadly something was different about her and no one was able to figure out what.

With the protagonist being the narrator, we can see most of the thoughts and ideas that come to her head. So we are not just sitting there wondering what would happen. We are actually also involved in the poisoning plot and know why she is buying the poison. This quote from the original story; “ the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant – a combined gardener and cook – had seen in at least ten years”, left us with a huge gap. On the other hand it does drag us deeper into the mysterious plot without knowing all the details, but nothing is better than experiencing the story “first-hand” .

Going back to the different endings that I mentioned; there are tons of ways to end the story differently and uniquely. In this case because I chose to write the narration as the protagonist Emily, it changed the way I can end the story. Instead of seeing the full aftermath, we get cut-off after her death. We don’t really learn too much on what happens afterwards. By losing this ending, we gain mostly all of the thoughts of Emily. We can see clearly the plans that she has in stored, and the motives behind her actions. We don’t have to be guessing like the towns people on what will she do next. Then again while we gain all of that, we lose the suspense. So it all depends on how the reader would prefer for the story to be written or portrayed. Whether they want to all the facts to be kept hidden from them or be involved in the story and see everything through the eyes of the main protagonist.

The stories might vary with their endings and whether or not there is suspense, but in the end everyone gets the general idea on what the story is about and witness the acts that Emily commits. Once again it all depends on the reader, I prefer to actually be involved in the story fully, and be part of Emily’s train of thought. Also, while we imagine the story from the towns perspective, we get all the information from what they think and their opinions(somewhat bias). If the story would have been told as I portrayed it, then our experiences would have been a bit different.

Hills Like White Elephants- First Person Point of View

First Person Narrative (Jig)

(Part 1)

I gazed at the hills across the valley of the Ebro. The longer I stared at them, the more I noticed how white the hills were, even more so with the bright and cloudless sky. They seemed to stretch forever too, and they almost looked like white elephants. It’s really a rather funny thought, but somehow it took heavy weight in my heart. It was a bothersome feeling I couldn’t get rid of, and as the days passed by it only got worse. The air was thick in the hot afternoon sun. It was rather blinding, though I barely felt it inside of the bar; the only shade on that side of the station with two lines of rails that ran parallel to the platform, one on either side of it. The express train from Barcelona would come in forty minutes to take us to Madrid. Yet it was as if the forty minutes had mastered the disguise of living as a second and an eternity. I stared at the hills again; they appeared longer this time. I took a deep breath. The less I thought about it, the easier it would be,  but I couldn’t. I couldn’t help but wonder what she or he would be like. To wonder if she’d have his eyes, the deepest blue of the sea; or if he’d have my smile, the one he’d use to get out of any troublesome situation.

      Would she travel and drink all the absinthe and beer the world has to offer? He’d probably be as tall as he is, as demanding, and he too would have the chance to be a father like the man in front of me, and hopefully, he’d want to be. It was silly of me to think he’d want to keep it, to dream of a life that wasn’t defined by drinking and traveling. But why would he ever think of giving up that kind of life?  To trade his own happiness for my own? If I go through with this he’d love me like he once did and things will go back to how they were. He wouldn’t leave me, would he? No, he loved me, definitely loved me, but maybe not enough. I mentioned the white elephants, even though I knew he’s probably never seen one. Of course, he never had.

“ I might have,” the man says,” Just because I say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything,”

But he didn’t say he wouldn’t have, he said he never had.  He wouldn’t have argued over something so frivolous before. Then again, I wouldn’t have been so upset about this. Any day before this I would have laughed it off, and he would have laughed with me.  I wanted to enjoy this moment, but I felt he didn’t care enough to be amused by me. I shouldn’t have mentioned the hills looking like elephants, how stupid.

After a while, we ordered another drink, and he droned on and on about the procedure as if he thought it would comfort me. He was always like this, pretending he knew everything, especially my thoughts and feelings. I suppose I didn’t mind. He always knew what was best for me. Or what was best for him? No, what was best for us.

“And you think then we’ll be all right and be happy?”  I took deep breaths, focusing my eyes on anything but his face. I looked at the other side of the station, where fields of grain and trees ran along the banks of Ebro. Turning back I noticed the contrast to this side of the station, where everything was brown, almost barren. My heart felt heavy again. I took another sip of beer and gazed at the green fields on the other side.
“I know we will. You don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it.”
“So have I,” I whispered. “And afterward they were all so happy.”

Happy. Were they really happy? Would this make us stronger? Happier? I looked back at all the places we had been, all the things we had done. Everything was a blur. It seemed like all we ever did was look at things and try new drinks. Was that really all we ever did? I reached my hand out to the curtain, feeling the bamboo beads between my hand.

“Well,” the man said, “if you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it’s perfectly simple.”
“And you really want to?” I ask him, my eyes searching for any signs of skepticism.
“I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to.” I stared at the bamboo beads, that funny feeling I had before slowly creeping in again.
  “And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?”
“I love you now. You know I love you.” The words felt as hollow as the bamboo I held in my hand. I knew I wouldn’t be the same person after these circumstances, neither would he, nor our relationship.

“I know. But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?’” I asked desperately because I wanted him to tell me things would be okay and mean it. He tells me, “I’ll love it. I love it now but I just can’t think about it. You know how I get when I worry.” I wanted to believe him, but I knew that nothing would be the same.  It would be foolish of me to think everything could go back to being normal but could they? Of, course they could. That’s what he kept telling me. It’s simple. I’m doing this because he wants this; I want this. Do I really want this? She’d have my hair. He tells me that it’s not really an operation and that he’d be with me the entire time, but I don’t really care as long as things go back to the way they used to be. He would have his smile. As long as he keeps loving me,  I’ll be fine. He’s still talking, why is he still talking? It’s so hot in here, I’m so sweaty. The train won’t be long; one more beer and I’ll be fine.

 

Comparing Point of Views

(Part 2)

Multiple factors such as setting, plot, and theme contribute to the outcome of a story. However, one may argue that the narration of the story definitely has a hand in its final result. In Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway uses objective third person point of view to narrate an exchange of dialogue between a man and a girl addressing an abortion that may or may not happen. However, at first, the reader would most likely be confused with the dialogue and have no idea what the story is about, to begin with. This was probably done in order for the reader to be immersed in the environment rather than the characters. Interestingly, Hemingway also takes advantage of third-person narrative in order to focus the reader’s attention on the conversation, offering a more nuanced version of each character’s perspective.Nevertheless, by rewriting the narrative in first person point of view from the girl, the reader is able to have a better understanding of the tension in the dialogue between the man and the girl. Therefore, the point of view of a story is vital because it affects how much a reader knows, what they focus on when analyzing the story, and the character’s internal struggle. the internal conflict of the character, and their emotions.

Point of view contributes to how much the reader knows about anything and anyone in the story being told. In Hills Like White Elephants the reader is able to recognize a tension between a man and a girl speaking about an operation. For example, after trying Anis del Toro, the girl comments on the drink by saying, “ I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it- look at things and try new drinks?” (Hemingway) This line may appear to be meaningless at first glance, but after finishing the story it becomes apparent how important it is when placed in context to the situation given. The girl is more than torn about having to abort her child but is even open to the change that would happen if she kept it. She realizes how linear their relationship actually is, and now that she is with a child it’s clear to her how superficial and in a way, fleeting their lives were, and that maybe a baby would give it more meaning. It is on complete contrast to how the man feels since he doesn’t want any change, evident in how he responds to the girl by saying, “ I guess so,” a response that is rather unfazed. In this way, the reader has to think about the theme of the story, without actually saying it. Instead of outright telling us that this whole situation is the result of an unborn baby repelled by a partner threatened by change, Hemingway cleverly uses third person narrative to give little hints as to what is going on between the two main characters. The clues are scattered throughout, especially in the conversations with the man and the girl. It can also be noted how the narrator in Hemingway’s version has very little presence. Instead, the spotlight is turned to the conversations of the two characters. However, with the point of view changed to the first-person narrative, there is more attention on the thoughts of the girl than the actual conversation she is having with her partner. In the retelling of the story, the same line is used, but not in conversation,“ Will this make us stronger? Happier? I looked back at all the places we had been, all the things we had done. Everything was a blur. It seemed like all we ever did was look at things and try new drinks. Was that really all we ever did?” By translating her lines into inner thoughts, the words she said are given more emotion, while not giving away too much. Her narration shows how unsure she is, and how it is affecting her emotionally. When she asks those questions, she is more or less wondering if the operation will be worth it, or if their relationship was an illusion all along. Additionally, the reader is also able to understand the severity of the decision that she’s to make. This comes to show how the point of view creates a better picture of their circumstances and therefore affects how much the reader knows and understands from the narrative.

Point of view can also change what readers focus on when analyzing the story. Hemingway is aware of this since he takes moments in between dialogue to describe the setting of the story. This is evident in the first paragraph of the story, where the background or setting of the story is introduced first, rather than the characters. After the characters are introduced, it isn’t clear what their names are until the male protagonist mentions the girl’s name. Even then, the man is never introduced by his name, but rather, he is simply called the “ American man”. Hemingway does this particularly to show how the environment surrounding the protagonists symbolize the tension growing between the two characters. For example, in Hills Like White Elephants, after a long conversation with her partner, the woman walks to the other side of the station, which is described like this, “Across the other side were fields of grain and trees along the banks of Ebro.” (Hemingway). The fertile ground on the other side is a comparison to the choice the girl has to make since abundance in nature, is often used as a symbol for fertility in women. In the retelling, the girl looks at the other side, “I look at the other side of the station, where fields of grain and trees ran along the banks of Ebro. Turning back I notice the contrast to this side of the station, where everything is brown, almost barren. My heart feels heavy again. I take another sip of beer and gaze at the green fields on the other side”. The girl is now gazing at the other side while contemplating on her decision, linking nature and her own life together. Yet the artificial “shade” of the bar shields her from the reality of the situation.

Throughout the narration the girl named Jig internally struggles with deciding whether or not to go through with the operation; However, Hemingway’s narration doesn’t make it as noticeable as the rewritten version does. She’s aware that regardless of what happens, things will never go back to how they once were. In the rewritten narration, repetition is utilized to accentuate the reassurance Jig seeks from the man she’s with and her decision about the operation. For example,  “He was always like this, pretending he knew everything, especially my thoughts and feelings. I suppose I didn’t mind. He always knew what was best for me. Or what was best for him? No, what was best for us.” shows that she’s pretty certain that once the operation is done with that he’s going to leave her because she becomes overwhelmed by her fear of abandonment and her hunger for his love. In addition to repetition, Jig wanders back and forth between deciding to go through with the abortion and imagining an alternate lifestyle of how her daughter or son would grow up to be, in the rewritten version  it says, “He tells me that it’s not really an operation and that he’d be with me the entire time, but I don’t really care as long as things go back to the way they used to be. He would have his smile.” By demonstrating her thought process the reader is able to see how vulnerable and uncertain she is about the situation she’s placed in. She attempts to reassure herself by coping with beers, which also reflects on her lifestyle with the man, and therefore brings to question if she’s ready to leave it behind. Regardless, having the story narrated in first person point of view gives the reader a better understanding of the girl’s thought process and therefore helps sympathize with her unstable emotions.

 

There are different kinds of Points of View in which a story can be told. Generally speaking, the third point of view is when a story is told using “he” or “she” and “him” or “her” rather than “me” and “I”. Whether or not the story has insight into the character’s thoughts or feelings solely depends on what type of third person point of view, whether it’s omniscient or limited. Omniscient refers to all knowing, therefore insinuating knowing the thoughts and feelings of all characters, and limited point of view read refers to knowing the thoughts and feelings of one character, a selected few or none at all. The first point of view is when the characters use the word “I”, “me”, or “mine”, in other words, anything that indicates that the story is being told by the character themselves. Ernest Hemingway wrote Hills Like White Elephants in a third person point of view to provoke thought and observation of context clues. However, the vagueness of the story simply leads to confusion and misunderstandings. By rewriting the story in the first point of view from the girl, the reader is able to grasp a better concept of what the story is about and is able to reach a new level of emotional understanding. Therefore, this comes to show how the point of view plays a vital role in the outcome of a narrative.

Retelling of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Part Two Essay

Part 1: Retelling ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’

I watch a woman sitting in this room quickly scribbling words into her journal, she always seems to be in a big rush when she’s writing. Everytime someone comes into the room she quickly hides the journal away from them like it is forbidden.

One day her husband came in and said to her

“ You’ve got to stop focusing on you’re illness, It’s not helping you get any better, try to focus on something else” She responded “Your right, I need to take my mind off of it.”

Then something came through me like a surge, but it felt like a surge of restrictions.

The next day the she was just wandering around the room looking at things and writing about them, but when she came towards me it seemed like she kept looking at me, not sure what or who I was, but she knew I was there.

I could see the look in her face. It seemed like we both felt the same way restricted  and trapped. Everytime I see this woman she seems to be in this room alone, without a person insight unless it’s her husband or the lady that seems to be doing all her housework while she follows her husbands resting rules.

She never stopped looking around the room as she wrote. It seemed like it irked her, like she couldn’t think what she wanted to think but had to focus on the furniture around her. But when she looked towards me she never stopped. She would stare a hole right through me and the longer she looked at me the more I felt I had a connection with her. I’ve watched this women sit in this room for weeks lonely and depressed, and the only times I see anyone coming into the room to talk to her is when they’re coming to tell her what to do, and what she’s doing is wrong. The longer she looked at me through these walls the more I realized that she’s not ill. She’s silenced by her oppressors, she isn’t allowed to express herself to anyone. She’s been sitting in this room all this time trying to make connections with me and oddly enough I feel her pain. But yet she is still confused when she stares at me not sure of what she sees.

I started to feel that this woman and I are very much the same person, i feel all the limitations that her husband has out on her and how it’s made her nervous illness worse. The room and her writing are the only sources of freedom that she has. The closest thing to an interactions with someone from the outside world is me.

But she still doesn’t realize that the world around her is ruining, and all of the things her husband has told her to do that would make her feel better has only made matters worse. There is no one that can tell her this but me.

I must get out, I need to help her become one with with her true self, and get rid of the restrictions , as for I too feel burrowed in the quicksand of her depression.

I try to show myself to her. I go around the house when no one else is around to grab her attention. I show her that I am trapped and I need her to break me free. I shake the patterns on the wall to show her that I am being caged in and the wallpaper keeps me from coming out.

Then she starts tearing off  the wallpaper off, slowly breaking me free. Once she tore off the last strand of the wallpaper I was able to come out and be free, She looked at me with a shocked look and told me

 “ You’re me”

And then I finally understood why I felt her pain. I am her lost self, I am the piece of her that she can’t express all of those built up emotions.

Then I tell her”We are finally together, and there isn’t anyone that can separate us again”

Then John came in and said”What is all that noise” and after a moment of looking into the room he fell unconscious and we tell him

“ We’ve got out at last, and we’ve pulled off all the wallpaper so you can put us back.”

Part 2:Essay

The original version of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman shows the how the protagonist was not allowed any creative freedom or expression, and how that slowly drove her crazy to the point where her imagination took complete control of her. My retelling of the story is from the point of view of the woman she sees in the wallpaper, and show the reader how both characters change together.

In the original Iteration of the story the protagonist has many limitations or restrictions put on her by her husband and she can’t express her true thoughts to him. She asked him for some company and he denies her saying she needs rest and no social interactions with people and tells her to stop focusing on her illness and focus on other things. This is when my narrator is truly “birthed”. In my retelling of the story these restrictions keep making the woman in the wallpaper more and more noticable for the protagonist.

“Then something came through me like a surge, but it felt like a surge of restrictions.

The next day the she was just wandering around the room looking at things and writing

about them, but when she came towards me it seemed like she kept looking at me,

not sure what or who I was, but she knew I was there.”(My iteration of The Yellow   Wallpaper)

In the original version the protagonist tries to show in her writings that her husbands rules for her resting aren’t making her any better and are hurting her more than helping her.

I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house.”

(The Yellow Wallpaper, Charles Perkins Gilman)

The narrator interrupts her own train of thought because starts to remember  John’s instructions. So she forces herself to focus on the things around her. The protagonist embraced her husband’s authority to the point that she imagines him  telling her what to think.She cant help herself but feel bad so she stats focusing on the house instead of her situation, the protagonist slowly starts her slide into obsession and madness. The irony in this segment there is a lot of with the protagonist ‘condition’ that its  both her depression and her condition in general within her oppressive marriage.

In my interation of the story the woman in wallpaper grows stronger and becomes more whole when the protagonist starts to become more and more affected by her oppressive marriage.

 

I could see the look in her face. It seemed like we both felt the same way restricted and trapped.  Everytime I see this woman she seems to be in this room alone, without a person insight unless it’s her husband or the lady that seems to be doing all her housework while she follows her husbands resting rules.”(My iteration of The Yellow Wallpaper)

She starts to feel more connected to the protagonist the more she looks into the wallpaper were the woman is trapped. She feels more and more what the protagonist feels when they stare at each other. After a while the woman in the wallpaper cannot watch the protagonist suffer anymore

But she still doesn’t realize that the world around her is ruining, and all of the things her husband has told her to do that would make her feel better has only made matters worse. There is no one that can tell her this but me. I must get out, I need to help her become one with with her true self, and get rid of the restrictions , as for I too feel burrowed in the quicksand of her depression.”(My iteration of The Yellow Wallpaper)

The woman in the wallpaper makes the protagonist into breaking her free in where when she did she unleashed the side of her that she couldn’t show to anyone.

 

The original version and my iteration have two different narrators whos stories still revolve around the same protagonist. I tried to show a better connections between the protagonist and her lost self that has been trapped for a long time and that they show that when they are together they have a powerful meaningful voice something the protagonist didn’t have when she followed her husbands commands

 

The Story of An Hour – Third-Person to First-Person Narration

Part 1 – Narration Change

“Mrs. Mallard!” called out Richards, a friend of my husband from the living room. My sister Josephine helped me get up from the wooden chair I was sitting on while eating my breakfast. My heart is weak and isn’t what it used to be.

Josephine helped me sit on the brown leather sofa. Josephine and Richards sat across me with worried looks on their faces. Josephine held out her hand and held mine. I could feel the warmth and humidity of her hand. There was something she was nervous about.

“Sister…” began Josephine.

“Richards was at the newspaper office when the news came in that a train was derailed…” Josephine took a deep breath. She could barely look at me at this point.

“…and Brently’s name was listed among those who were killed.”

As soon as the last word left her mouth, I threw myself into Josephine’s arms and wept uncontrollably. My husband was dead. The man who I built so many memories with was taken from me.

We embraced for some time until my tears were spent. I kissed Josephine on the cheek and gave her a passionate hug. I stood up and began to make my way back to my room.

“Sister, where are you going?” asked Josephine with worry in her voice.

“I want to spend some time in my room,” I replied. Josephine began to get up from her seat in an attempt to accompany me.

“I wish to be alone, Josephine.” She sat back down with a worried look on her face.

I closed the door behind me as I gazed at the open window. In front of it, an armchair. Into this armchair I sat, nearly being swallowed by it. I laid my eyes upon the city outside of the window. I could see the tops of the green trees moving caused by the warm spring winds. In the distance, I could hear vendors selling their goods and the songs of both passerbys and birds.

As I fixated on the small patches of blue sky that littered the grey, cloudy patchwork visible through the window, an overwhelming desire to cry washed over me. I succumbed to the desire as I stared blankly at the blue patches, with tears once again beginning to run down my cheek.

Something began to form in the skies. I couldn’t tell what it was but it began to reach towards me. As it drew closer, it became more and more familiar. I attempted to resist it but my will, just like my body, was in no position to fight and it quickly broke through my defenses. “Free”, I murmured, almost subconsciously. “Free, free, free!”. The sweet words flowed like a river.

I took a deep breath and now I could think clearly. I will soon have to look at Brently’s gentle face for the final time. Brently had always treated me fairly during our marriage but my passions, ideas, and dreams, were always a second priority. I began to think further ahead. Think further ahead to when I could finally be able to live on my own terms. To be allowed to follow my passions, ideas, and dreams.

These thoughts filled me with an immense sense of hope that flowed through my body. Finally, I would be in control of my life. “Free! Body and soul free!” I whispered.

Suddenly, a knock came from the door. “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door — you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven’s sake open the door.” pleaded Josephine from behind the door.

“Go away. I am not making myself ill, feeling better than ever before as I said this. I quickly recited a prayer asking the Lord to give me a long life, in contrast to my thoughts from a few days ago. My fragile heart could mean a shorter time on this earth, so I asked the Lord to lend me some time.

I just about sprung out of the armchair and with a newfound pep in my step, I walked to the door and twisted the handle. I saw Josephine standing there and couldn’t help but to smile. We were sisters but after my marriage to Brently, Josephine and I barely spent any time together. The duty of a housewife always kept me busy and unable to have time to be with friends and family. Now would be the time to make up for lost time.

We made our way to the stairs, with Josephine holding my waist, we descended the stairs to meet Richards, who was waiting at the bottom of the stairs.

I kept a close eye on each step I took, careful not to slip. I heard the door begin to open but my eyes were still fixated on the stairs. Then I heard Josephine let out a ear piercing shriek and had no choice but to break my concentration and look at the door.

It was Brently with a confused look on his face as Richards attempted to block his entrance into his own home. I was glad to see Brently alive and well but this meant the death of my dreams and aspirations. My freedom was stripped of me and the bonds of an unfair marriage were placed on me once again. The weight of this realization caused my knees to buckle. I collapsed and briefly felt the cold floor against my head as I looked at the lights above. I closed my eyes to visit where my dreams and aspirations now rested.

Part 2 – Comparing Narration Styles

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is a fictional short story that centers around Mrs. Mallard, a woman who had just found out about the death of her husband, Brently Mallard, she is devastated at first but her sorrow soon turns into joy when she realizes that she is finally free from the bonds of marriage, bonds that prevented her from following her dreams and forced her into living for others. The story is written in a limited third-person narration. The narrator sees every event but mainly focuses on a single character, in which they have access to their thoughts. I decided to rewrite the story in first-person, from the perspective of Mrs. Mallard.

Although Chopin mainly writes about Mrs. Mallard’s realization that she is now free, I chose to focus more on Mrs. Mallard’s relationship between her husband and her sister, adding in dialogue, and to add what Mrs. Mallard may have been thinking when she saw her husband again.

At the beginning of the story, immediately after receiving the news of her husband’s death, Chopin writes this: “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.”.

I wanted to add more detail to Mrs. Mallard’s grief so I wrote the following: “ I threw myself into Josephine’s arms and wept uncontrollably. My husband was dead. The man who I built so many memories with was taken from me.
We embraced for some time until my tears were spent. I kissed Josephine on the cheek and gave her a passionate hug. I stood up and began to make my way back to my room.”.

I made this change because I wanted to make it clearer that Mrs. Mallard did truly love her husband. I also made the addition of dialogue because I felt that would make the characters a little more personal.

Following the initial tears of losing her husband, Mrs. Mallard retreats to her room and that is when and where she rediscovers her freedom. Her marriage had restricted her so much but with Mr. Mallard’s death, that was no longer the case. I didn’t change much from the original story, only a few minor detail changes. What I did change/add was Mrs. Mallard’s thinking.

In Chopin’s story, she wrote the following: “She arose at length and opened the door to her sister’s importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sister’s waist, and together they descended the stairs.”.

There is no mention of Mrs. Mallard’s feeling towards her sister so I wanted to add some in to make them seem closer. I wrote “… I walked to the door and twisted the handle. I saw Josephine standing there and couldn’t help but to smile. We were sisters but after my marriage to Brently, Josephine and I barely spent any time together. The duty of a housewife always kept me busy and unable to have time to be with friends and family. ”.

I included that part because I wanted to flesh out Mrs. Mallard’s relationships more and because I wanted to show the reader how excited Mrs. Mallard had become with her new outlook on life now that she was getting over the death of her husband.

Now we reach the end of the story and the end of Mrs. Mallard’s life. Chopin chooses writes the death of Mrs. Mallard with no insight into her thoughts at the time.

“ Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack and umbrella. He had been far from the scene of the accident and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry; at Richards’ quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife.
When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease–of the joy that kills.”.

Chopin decides to end the story soon after Mrs. Mallard lays eyes on her supposedly dead husband and offers little insight into the thoughts of the former widow after the surprise. I wanted to linger more on her death and to add what Mrs. Mallard may have been thinking before she died. I wrote: “It was Brently with a confused look on his face as Richards attempted to block his entrance into his own home. I was glad to see Brently alive and well but this meant the death of my dreams and aspirations. My freedom was stripped of me and the bonds of an unfair marriage were placed on me once again. The weight of this realization caused my knees to buckle. I collapsed and briefly feeling the cold floor against my head while I looked at the lights above. I closed my eyes to visit where my dreams and aspirations now rested.”.

I added this part in because I wanted to show what Mrs. Mallard may have been thinking when she saw her husband alive again, to make Mrs. Mallard a little more personal.

In terms of what was lost and what was gained from a change of narration type, there isn’t a world of difference. In the original story, we learn that Richards (Mr. Mallard’s friend) double-checked to make sure if Mr. Mallard was actually killed. In my version, this part is omitted entirely. So we lose insight into events that were beyond Mrs. Mallard’s view, switching to first-person.

What we gain is the characters become more personal through dialogue. Since we see through the eyes of Mrs. Mallard, the conversation may seem more personal. In addition, in my version, we get to see that Mrs. Mallard’s marriage had unfortunately kept her and her sister separate.

In conclusion, “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin, is a story written in a limited third-person narration. I chose to rewrite the story in first-person, from the view of Mrs. Mallard.  Chopin chooses to focus on Mrs. Mallard’s realization that she is free from a restrictive marriage, while I chose to focus on more on the relationship between Mrs. Mallard and her sister and her husband, adding dialogue, and to add what Mrs. Mallard may have been thinking when she saw her husband alive.

 

Trapped Behind Deceit Story & Essay

Part 1: Retelling: Trapped Behind Deceit

“Why, why me?” I said. “What is it, little girl?” John said. “Don’t go walking about like that–you’ll get cold.”  “Little girl? John why do you continue to do this to me?” I said. But I knew that they couldn’t hear me, mostly because I need to be me, not behind this wallpaper of deceit and it’s not like I can just come out and walk around at this time, especially with John home. I try sticking my head through these bars anyway but as John continues to speak he traps me in again. Cutting off my head which is now lifeless. I’m still alive though, another head comes out of my body.

I try one more time, sticking my head through the changing bars, trying to get out in one try. But then as I look at the clueless me with John, she seemed startled a little after he looked at her with such a stern , reproachful look. There goes another one of my heads. These patterns are way too heavy and crowded. “YES!” I thought to myself , “The patterns are going to become less complex.” “If she would recognize that at night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and the best of all by moonlight, the complex pattern prision shows as just bars from the outside. John is asleep, the moonlight shines on the wallpaper. “Now is my chance” I thought, “I’m going to have to use our fear to shape myself.” I could only gathered a little of fear to create the outline of my body, hope that was enough for her to recognize herself. I did see when she caught John and Jennie investing their energy into making sure the patterns and bars were still strong to keep me locked in. Jennie did realize that I would leave clues of deceit on her clothes and John’s for me to let her know that I need to save myself.  I do it mostly in the daytime, there’s another me that travels outside of the wallpaper with the other me outside of the wallpaper, like a spirit would. It will leave a smell that would remind her of deceit, the wallpaper, while making sure I don’t stand out too much. So I will creep. “I will not let myself forget for even a second, the reason we are trapped in the first place.” I said to myself. Throughout the day I’ll have the spirit leave the color all around the place. It is now night, the moonlight is shining on part of the wallpaper, “Another chance!” I said to myself. I wanted to get the heck out of here so I started shaking the bars as hard as I could. She’s looking at me, “I think she could see me” I thought. I continue to shake wildly, “I’m tired of these bars. GET ME OUT OF HERE!” I yelled, knowing no one can even hear me. The other part of the wallpaper that is shady from lack of moonlight, I stand still from my others’ feeling of John’s judgment. I know that I am now more invested in letting myself free, she’s neglecting John’s looks. “I can feel it, she cares less about them.” I said, feeling a sense of, “I can soon finally be free.” John was asking her some questions but the clothes he were wearing had some of the color on him. Jennie’s trying her best to try to keep me tamed by wanting to sleep with me, there was color on her too. She looked at the smooch on her clothes, “Get away from her.” trying to tell myself. She told Jennie she would rest better alone tonight. She came towards the cage and started peeling the cage off. “Come on! Help get me out of here. Come on!” I said eagerly, while shaking the bars. Morning came, hearing the cage laugh all morning, knowing that John and Jennie is mocking me. They want me to stay in here. I see Jennie coming, talking to the other me about the getting out of the room. “NOOOOOOOOOOO! DO NOT LET HER CONTINUE TO TRAP US!” I screamed. She told her she’s going to sleep in here tonight again, turning Jennie down. She’s so close to fully realizing her true self because I can now walk around as I please. “It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please.” I said. John’s trying to get inside of the room, I’m automatically drawn back into the wallpaper because of his presence. She looks determined to get me out of this cage. He came in after getting the key and stopped short by the door. “What is the matter?” John cried. “For God’s sake, what are you doing!” I stepped out of the wallpaper and looked at him while moving into her, making us one. “I’ve got out at last,” we said, “in spite of you and her. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!” John fainted, all of his energy is was broken and has set me and her free and together. Where we belong.

 

Part 2: Essay: Comparison of “The Yellow Wallpaper” & Trapped Behind Deceit

If you listen to a different point of view then you can gain a different perspective on the situation. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the reader is gaining the perspective of the women (outside of the wallpaper) because the narrator is told in first person, limited, and subjective. This means that the reader is viewing the story as the women, taking what the women sees, thinks, and encounters throughout the story without knowing any other characters in the story thoughts and other things that they encounter other than with the women. In the retelling of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, I told the story in first person, limited, and it was also subjective but from the point of view of the woman in the wallpaper who is the true representation of the woman outside of the wallpaper. When comparing both the original story and the retelling of the story there are differences in perspective but are connected. In the original story, the first person narrator shine light on the weird and unusual sighting of the bars trapping the women in the wallpaper, John’s relationship with the women (outside the wallpaper), and the constant attention the wallpaper is given while the retelling from a first person narrator from the women in the wallpaper demonstrates why she is trapped in the wallpaper, her relationship to the women outside the wallpaper and with John, and the constant clues left for the women to reveal.

The perspectives were a little different when it came to the bars from the wallpaper trapping the women. In the original story, it states, “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be” (Larsen, pg 8). This shows that the women outside the wallpaper realizes that light can make the pattern of the wallpaper less complicated than she believes they are. Also, when she says, “and worst of all by moonlight”, shows her frustrated towards the pattern revealing it’s simplicity in moonlight which helps grab her attention the most of the horrid wallpaper. While in the retelling, during the same scene, it says, “These patterns are way too heavy and crowded. “YES!” I thought to myself, “The patterns are going to become less complex.” “If she would recognize that at night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and the best of all by moonlight, the complex pattern prision shows as just bars from the outside.” The same kind of wording is used from both the women outside and inside the wallpaper but the feeling of the woman inside of the wallpaper towards the moonlight is different than the other woman’s feeling. The trapped woman enjoys when the pattern is less complex because of the fact that it prevents her from being recognized from the outside women while also giving her a slightly better chance of escaping which she enjoyed. There are similarities as far as the bars being recognized through the changes of light from both the narrator of the original story and of the retelling but the feelings towards the light with the pattern are different.

The woman from both narrators views the attention ‘asked’ from the wallpaper differently but are working for each others favor. In the original story, it says, “It creeps all over the house. I find it hovering in the dining-room, skulking in the parior, hiding in the hall, lying in wait for me on the stairs….The only thing I can think of that it is like is the COLOR of the paper! A yellow smell” (Larsen, pg. 9). Now, in this story, the protagonist does not know what to think of the smell but only knows that she hates the color of the wallpaper which is yellow. It is not stated why there is a smell following her and the color is stuck with her but just that it has to relate to the wallpaper that frustrates her. In the retelling the connection is made by the trapped woman, saying “I would leave clues of deceit on her and John’s for me to let her know that I need to save myself. I do it mostly in the daytime, there’s another me that travels outside of the wallpaper with the other me outside of the wallpaper, like a spirit would. It will leave a smell that would remind her of deceit, the wallpaper, while making sure I don’t stand out too much.” This shows that the woman from the original story, the smell that kept following her was the spirit from the woman of the wallpaper trying to keep her attention on the wallpaper with the smell of wallpaper. The smell of the wallpaper, as the woman from the original story describes, is yellow. The woman in the retelling describes it as deceit which means that the yellow color of the wallpaper is actually deceit which is happening to the woman outside the wallpaper. Which is why she does not like the color because she does not believe the meaning and can not understand what is being deceived.

The relationship with John with both women are different at the beginning but are exactly the same at the end. In the retelling, the trapped women views John as a major part of the reason of why she is trapped in the wallpaper in the first place. “I did see when she caught John and Jennie investing their energy into making sure the patterns and bars were still strong to keep me locked in.” This proves that the trapped woman believes that John is keeping her trapped, he was making sure that the woman’s true representation of herself would not come out by keeping the wallpaper’s pattern intacted. But the woman outside of the wallpaper views the situation differently. “I have watched John when he did not know I was looking, and come into the room suddenly on the most innocent excuses, and I’ve caught him several times LOOKING AT THE PAPER! And Jennie too….But I know that she was studying that pattern, and I am determined that nobody shall find it out but myself!” (Larsen, pg 8). This shows that the woman outside of the wallpaper seen John and Jennie looking and investigating the wallpaper but thought that they were only trying to figure out the pattern of the wallpaper which the trapped woman believes that they know the pattern very well but is trying to make it more complex. The trapped woman does not like John at all while the other woman only finds him somewhat as a suspect but not fully guilty because she has feelings for him. But as mentioned, the relationship towards John are the same at the end, “And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back” (Larsen, pg 12, and from retelling). After the escape of the women in the wallpaper, and both women emerged together then their thoughts and emotions became one. In that quote they are both have a sense of resentment towards John because not only does the women in the wallpaper from the retelling know that John was working against her but now so does the women outside. Which shows in the original because of the same quote coming from the woman said towards John.

There are different perspectives from different sides that can change your point of view on a situation. In the original story, the connection was made in the retelling by changing the narrator. This causes to use what is not known from the original story and make a connection. Like, the patterns of the wallpaper were not only bars seen by moonlight from both women but that it was used for the same purpose, to make the outside would acknowledge it even though the emotions towards the bars were different because of different mindset the women were in. Another connection was the smell and color, the original narrator thought it was just an annoying smell that came from the wallpaper that she couldn’t shake off and remind her of the ugly color. But, in the retelling it was actually a spirit of her trying to get her attention to the wallpaper to show her that she was being deceived. Finally, the relationship towards John from both women were different at first, the original narrator only thought of him as suspicious but wanted to be with him while the retelling narrator despised him. At the end, it shows that the two woman from the original and retelling became one after the ripping of the wallpaper and shared the same resentful feelings for John.