Harlotte Perkins Gilman v. David Foster Wallace
Choose one of the following two paper topics and write a five-page paper that examines the text (or texts) closely and is informed by larger questions about the representation of mental illness. Your paper should have a specific argument -that is, it should not simply be descriptive but must interpret evidence in the text to make a convincing point that is not immediately evident and that may or may not be true. Your paper should integrate quotations as well as summary and paraphrase. You do not need to use any secondary sources. If you want to incorporate secondary sources, please speak with me first.
Your paper should be double-spaced, paginated, stapled, and in 12-point font with normal margins. It must be at least five pages long and shouldnt be more than seven.
1. Examine and analyze the language of either The Depressed Personor The Yellow Wallpaper.What theory does the author advance about the etiology, definition, experience, or meaning of mental illness? Look at use of language at the level of words and sentences, and analyze the evidence for a meaning more substantial than what is immediately evident on the surface.
2. Compare and contrast both stories. Where do they agree and how do they differ in their presentation of mental illness? Do not simply go back and forth between the two (i.e., He says this, but she says that… they both say this…”); rather, look carefully at both stories and then come to some conclusion of your own about these literary presentations of mental illness. Make an argument about what these two stories do or dont say. You can do a close reading, as in the first paper topic, or you might choose to approach the texts differently, but be sure to support your argument with direct quotation and evidence from the texts.