Insanity Represented by Perkins and Faulkner

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

Thesis: Charolette Perkins and William Faulkner used mental illness as a basis for their short stories.

Insanity, a state of madness, one?s inability to reason, a mental deterioration, an illness that can rob a person of their well being. Mental illness has long been a misunderstood disease. Unless a person has suffered with mental illness he or she cannot begin to comprehend the devastating effects of the disease. Many people attempt to understand mental illness by writing about their observations and perceptions of the illness. William Faulkner and Charolette Perkins Gilman are two such authors.

William Faulkner?s short story, ?A Rose for Emily? deals with a woman who becomes withdrawn from society the last forty years of her life, and the townspeople learn about the true extent of her madness after her death. In Charolette Gilman?s short story, ?The Yellow Wallpaper?, a woman is depressed and her husband believes isolating her is the best therapy for her illness.

The reader is given the opportunity to follow her descent into madness. In the end, both stories rouse the emotions, and one can only wonder about the torture these women?s minds endured.

A mental illness, specifically depression, affects five percent of the adult population in any given year. At times in any one?s life, people can experience symptoms of depression but these symptoms are only temporary. A major depressive illness can last for months or years, and if untreated can be fatal. Major depressive illness interferes with a person?s ability to think or behave rationally; it affects their mood and health, and limits their physical activities. It affects twice as many women compared to men, and it is the leading cause of medical disabilities (Major Depression).

The symptoms of depression can take a long time to become noticeable to the person...