“The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman are stories you can say are the opposites of each other. One is set in a Utopia and the other in a Dystopia. In other words, one is positive and the other is negative. “The Cottagette” is more of a Utopian story due to the relaxed feeling you get from listening to the narrator’s happy lifestyle/point of view. “The Yellow Wallpaper” on the other hand is more Dystopian and involves a much more darker stance. This story is covered with emotions and the depressing life the narrator is living. The question however is what defines the two stories as a Utopian/Dystopian story. The answer to that is in the setting.
Let’s start off with the more depressing story. “The Yellow Wallpaper” shows clear signs of a setting that involves depression. One main setting feature that defines how the story is more negative is right in the beginning of the story. “A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house….” Judging from this one sentence, you already know things aren’t gonna look good. The scenery also shows darkness. Examples include the broken greenhouses and the lack of renovations in the house. Scent also is an attribute of setting. Within the mansion, lies a scent that “creeps all over the house.” Along with that scent, the weather is terrible with fog and rain that lasted the whole week. Pretty much my point here is the setting of this story is similar to something you will see in a scary movie.
Now let’s move to something more happier. “The Cottagette” is the opposite of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and is definitely for a fact much more pleasant and happier. Happiness is written all over this story. Anyways, the setting of this story is as the title says. We have here a cottage that is “far too small for a house, too pretty for a hut, too unusual for a cottage.” It may be unusual but hey, at least she likes it as seen when Malda says “”The Cottagette” I loved unreservedly.” as she listens to the music playing. The cottage was also “Little and new and clean, smelling only of its fresh-planed boards–they hadn’t even stained it.” Speaking of music, the musical scenery I would say plays a major role in the story because it adds more joyful thrill and enlightenment.
In the end, it’s obvious to say that these two stories are complete opposites. One is positive and the other is negative. One is dark and the other is light. The setting between the two stories define the differences between them. The main point is, the setting in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is something you’ll find in a scary movie, and the setting in “The Cottagette” is more something you’ll find in a happy romance.