The Metamorphosis & The Yellow Wallpaper

The Metamorphosis has now become one of my top 10 favorite short stories of all time. Yes, I absolutely loved it. The story hooks you in from the very first sentence, and it brings clearly to light one of the big themes of the entire work in that opener – the absurdity of life. It’s a tragic story in parts – from the cruel rejection by his family (..and thus the ‘monstrous’ themes come into play), to Gregor’s overall inability to find self-identity… I really enjoyed it. It benefits from interesting, captivating narrative, which I think a few literary classics in this course have lacked (namely Frankenstein). I think it could have actually been presented without any form of dialogue too, since that in itself doesn’t add too much to the story – however, it isn’t that big of a concern.

 

As for the Yellow Wallpaper, which I didn’t like as much, it felt much more like a slog through the text… I’m not sure if I get the format, which is line after line… (might have just been the online version I read. Sure, it offers some dynamic of suspense, but other than that I can’t really think of a reason for presenting it. The visuals in it were pretty haunting to say the least, and I like how the narrative style changes as you discover her (the narrator’s) spiral into the depths of insanity. I guess overall I didn’t really like the message that I got out of it, which seemed to be a critique about the conventions of women in traditional marriage. My problem more has to do with my loathing of discussing the subject – especially nowadays, where discussion over hegemony seems to only result in an unstoppable argument with no intention of mediation.

Overall though, I did enjoy the collective of these two texts. I’m glad that we’re covering many different types of texts in this course at this point – long, enveloping novels, historical texts, discourses, essays, and now we seemed to have switch gears into short stories!

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