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Hills Like White Elephants And The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

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The Yellow Wallpaper is about a woman whom her husband has diagnosed her of suffering from depression. Her husband is a doctor who recommends her to stay inside and not see her family while she is like this. As the story continues, the story shows that Jane is overshadowed by her husband. She complains that he does not listen to her for a second; her husband is so focused and worried about her illness. Within the house, there is a room that catches Jane’s attention. It has a patterned yellow wallpaper, which she seems to notice a woman being stuck behind the stripes. Due to lack of communication and feeling of being denied, Jane does not inform her husband about the wallpaper.

Three important themes within the story The Yellow Wallpaper are: manipulation, selfishness, as well as communication. Within the first theme, manipulation, Jane’s husband tries to manipulate her into believing that she extremely ill and should not see any of her family members until she gets better. The second theme, selfishness, is demonstrated through the description of how oblivious John is of his wife’s feelings and all of her complaining comments: “[…] 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” (Gillman 2). The third theme, communication, is presented in the way that Jane tries to tell her husband how she really feels, yet he does not try hearing a word she says. She keeps complaining and complaining that her husband does not listen nor understand her in any way. Jane feels stuck within her own mind and imprisoned from her freedom, due to her husband’s decision-making for her.

Hills like White Elephants is a short story about young couple waiting for a train in a station in Spain. They speak about this “operation” that the young woman should have, meaning abortion. The main conflict within the story is that the young woman seems to be unsure of what she wants, but the male seems to want her to have this abortion. They seem to drink alcohol in order to avoid any further conversation about the topic. One important theme within this story is communication. Lack of communications provides conflicts and misunderstanding between the young couple. Manipulation is another important theme presented in the story, in whereas the male states to the woman that this is the only thing that is making them unhappy. He also comments that if she gets the abortion they will go back to how they used to be before. The las them is selfishness: Selfishness is demonstrated within how Jig’s partner does not take into consideration her feelings. He tells her that she does not have to do anything she does not want to but, yet again he tells her that this is the only thing that has made her unhappy: “That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that has made us unhappy” (Hemingway 2). He does not realize of unsure she is, nor asks her how she feels about the entire situation he just seems to keep trying to push her to do it. Such as that he states, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig. It’s not really an operation at all”.

Both stories deal with two women who are stuck upon trying to make their own decisions. Jane and Jig both feel overshadowed by their partner; in which, Jane wants to be able to make her own decisions, but her husband does not allow her because he worries for her due to her depression. Similar to Jane, Jig is unsure of whether or not she should have the abortion, yet her boyfriend is all for it. Jane feels trapped and imprisoned within her own life, just how Jig feels stuck within her decision-making. Both women seem to not be able to speak over to their male partners, rather they tend to try to take whatever decision they make for them. The two women are both trapped within their own life and both seem to somehow have some freedom for themselves.

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