Yellow Wall Paper Story Vs. Moive

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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After watching the movie and reading the story the "Yellow Wallpaper", it became very clear to me that books have many more tools to paint a more complete picture. There were many small insights into why John's Wife was going mad and to what she was thinking than in the movie.

The first thing I noticed differently was the fact that in the movie it seems to make you think that the house is near to the road or possibly town. John's Wife says that she sees all the women out side and slowly that becomes the creeping women. The move doesn't do a good enough job of telling you that the women she sees are just in her mind. It makes it sound like there are people walking through a public garden and as she looses her mind they begin to look like, "creeping", women. The book let you in on the secret that it was all in her mind.

By telling you right in the beginning that the house was about three miles from town and it had a beautiful garden in front of it.

The Second thing I noticed was the fact that the movie let you think the story happened over a few days or short time period. Where as the book makes if very clear that the story is on a time line of weeks rather than days.

Along with the creeping women was where they came from. The movie as I said before makes you think they were the people of the town that she seemed to envision creeping about in the bushes. The book lets you know that infact the women are in her mind. John's wife has this hallucination that the movie totally neglects. In the moonlight she envisions the wallpaper turning into bars and a woman is behind them shaking them in the shadows trying to get out. When I first read this immediately mirror image came to my mind, she was really the woman trapped behind the wallpaper. When the story came to an end this was just the case.

Also in the movie I thought that John had an ulterior motive for keeping his wife in that room when she requested to be let out for a bit. The movie seemed to put a dark shadow over his character. The story on the other hand painted him as a busy doctor that was trying to help his wife in the way he knew best.

Finally the story totally let you in on why she had torn the paper from the walls, she was the woman behind the wallpaper trying to get out so she could creep about. In the movie it just suddenly ended with the paper being torn from the walls with the only explanation that was possible to make was that she went crazy, but it didn't tell you what she was really thinking.

From this comparison it is very evident that written stories have many more tools to use when painting the picture for the reader than movies do for their viewers. Movies always seem to be a more succinct version of the true written story.