Effects of Realism in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” Shawn Yousif

There are a number of examples of the method vision develops aspects of realism in “An Event at Owl Creek Bridge” and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” There is a literal vision that refers to the senses of readers, which is created through using vivid information made by both authors. This can be seen when Bierce uses brilliant descriptions to help portray the story of the male’s escape: Bierce composes,

“He felt his head emerge; his eyes were blinded by the sunlight; his chest expanded convulsively, and with a supreme and crowning pain his lungs swallowed up a great draught of air, which instantly he expelled in a shriek!” (363 ).

This passage provide the readers a strong sense of realism, as they can quickly envision the agonizing feelings connected with being submerged in water for a long period of time.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the descriptions utilized by the narrator of the wallpaper permit readers to picture the setting the storyteller is in and experiencing. The narrator describes the wallpaper as “… the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think about all the yellow things I ever saw- not gorgeous ones like buttercups, however old, foul, bad yellow things” (Gilman 816). These descriptions of the wallpaper continue throughout the story, and they permit the reader to have a practical picture of the environment in which this female is forced to live in. In addition to these literal images that establish an atmosphere of realism for the readers, both authors incorporate a stronger component of realism with the visions produced by the incorporation of supernatural components. The lady in “The Yellow Wallpaper” always sees a woman trapped behind the wallpaper and how she is constantly “attempting to climb up through” (Gilman 817). This idea of a lady stuck behind the wallpaper adds suspicion to the reader about whether this is real and if the woman is a reputable source as a narrator. Gilman constructs a setting of confinement, which has a daunting implication of the narrator; nevertheless, Gilman enables this confinement to extend into the atmosphere in a manner that the reader can realistically sense and relate to the narrator’s situation. This happens both literally and supernaturally. The reader is introduced to a house separated from society and into the lead character’s nursery of confinement. Furthermore, Gilman adds supernatural pictures of confinement in saying: “At night in any type of light, in golden, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it ends up being bars! The outside pattern, I indicate, and the female behind it is as plain as can be” (Gilman 815). Likewise, Peyton Farquhar in “An Event at Owl Creek” visualizes making it home and connecting to touch his other half prior to readers discover that he is really dreaming. From ideas seen through visions in both stories, the literary gadget of dream enters play.

Another largely contributing aspect to the existence of realism in the two stories is the use of dreams throughout their plots. In “An Event at Owl Creek Bridge,” the reader is unconsciously immersed into Peyton Farquhar’s lucid dream, which is developed by the author’s detailed writing: “He was now completely possession of his physical senses. They were, indeed, preternaturally eager and alert. Something in the horrible disruption of his organic system had so exalted and refined them that they made a record of things never ever prior to perceived” (Bierce 363-364). The dream is constructed so that the reader is drawn into it as if it is, in truth, a reality to the character– and to the reader himself. In the end, however, the reader learns that happenings of the entire plot are just a dream.

Hence, there is a sort of fracture of realism: the reader is made to feel as though the happenings of the plot are genuine, while the happenings are entirely false, even to the protagonist. To discredit the elements of realism in this story, nevertheless, would be incorrect. Since of the brilliant and practical dream, the reader is made to comprehend exactly what the author has actually wished to represent. Hence, the realism– as it uses– is a vital component to the story, and one that defines the plot. The function of Peyton’s dream is not to fixate the reader on his biggest fear, however rather to show the reader just how much Peyton really desires something else– something he desires so much that not having it resembles dying. The story states, “He closed his eyes in order to repair his last thoughts upon his spouse and children” (Bierce 361). His imagine wishing to be with his household is what drives him to visualize these thoughts and what stresses what the readers think to be real in the story, but in truth is not. In contrast to “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” the dream in “The Yellow Wallpaper” has more clear ramifications on the reasonable components of the plot. Like Peyton’s dream, the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” imagine flexibility, yet she imagines a noticeably various freedom: she wishes to release the woman that is caught behind the wallpaper. Her imagine releasing the female leads to the climax and resolution of the story. At the end of the story she tears all the wallpaper down and releases the lady. Through her dream, readers discover something that contributes to the realism of the story; she has ended up being the lady that was trapped behind the wallpaper. She states, “I expect I shall have to return behind the pattern when it comes night, which is tough! It is so enjoyable to be out in this terrific room and sneak around as I please!” (Gilman 819). This adds to the realism of the story due to the fact that this disregards the doubtful idea of there actually being a woman behind the paper, but instead it stresses the liberty of the inner battles she is dealing with. From this, readers can also see the idea of ladies as victims in society, which was a main concern of the time. The idea of dream impacts both stories in different methods, and contributing to the affect of realism in both stories comes one other device.

More particular than an incident of dreams throughout the stories, is the pervasive aspect of notified understanding, which is used by both authors to affect the realism of each story. A lot of clearly, the reader is made to think that Peyton is struggling to leave death, however he is truthfully about to pass away. The entire plot of the story is essentially just a flash in Peyton’s creativity, which takes place in the minutes prior to his death.

The reader discovers the truth in the final words of the story: “Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a damaged neck, swung gently from side to side below the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge” (Bierce 366). This explanation at the end of the story, enables readers to understand that Peyton’s escape is not real, and hence seems to diminish the realism of the story. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the reader is subjected to a modified understanding just as disorienting as that in “An Event at Owl Creek.” Instead of learning that the happenings of the story are incorrect, nevertheless, the reader learns that the narrator is, in reality, the caught lady. Therefore, all the information the reader learns throughout the story ends up being based on his or her suspicion. The reader is at first skeptical of there even being a female trapped, yet this lady serves as a driver to the plot, and the reader selects to accept her narrative. In the end, however, readers’ understandings are changed through the discovery of the trapped woman in fact being the narrator. Altered perception has a strong effect on both the characters and the readers, and in effect the realism in both stories is affected drastically. It might seem that these altered perceptions serve to interfere with the realism in the stories; however in reality, when seen from the suitable point of view, the intentional use of transformed understanding by the authors produces realism to the components that are most carefully associated with the function of the works and the styles in which these works represent.

Realisms’ essentiality can not go undetected after analyzing the plots of “An Event at Owl Creek Bridge” and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In both stories, the authors use realism to represent a vivid atmosphere and scenarios, which the reader is able to associate with on a close emotional level. Though some components appear to be entirely disorienting to the reader, their presence only strengthens the messages that the authors seek to convey in their intricate plots. Bierce purposefully manipulates his readers. He eliminates time as a medium through which readers can navigate his story by having the whole plot happen immediately. Bierce creates a plot so captivating that an average reader is unable to observe anything out of the ordinary, and the reader becomes captivated by the protagonist’s escape. Yet, in fact, it seems that Bierce is attempting to show a weak point on the part of both the reader and the lead character: the reader is made to think a story that is totally incorrect, while Bierce seeks to show that dreams and hallucination in bad scenarios are only a weak point of an individual unable to manage life’s struggles. Gilman’s message in “The Yellow Wallpaper” can be a lot more broadly used. The story based on a lady confined can be used a lot more broadly to the situations of the time duration. When the story was composed, women were not treated similarly, and the story communicates the negative impact it had on ladies. Moreover, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” shows that those with mental disorder might not be properly thought about as having a disorder– and, this issue is specifically applied to ladies. Both stories, for that reason, have elements which develop or diminish realism on the surface area– however the components and scenarios the authors produce are purposeful and complex, and, in the end, serve to develop plots with significant styles in which the authors’ purpose is plainly revealed.

You Might Also Like