Nalysis of Narrator/Addressee/Reader of The Yellow Wallpaper

Closely-Reading the Narrator/Addressee/Reader Complex of Relationships within a narrative

In this exercise, you are working to develop your own theory of, or insights into, the value and activity of reading (the relationship between narrators and addressees), using a text as an example from which you build your theory and insights.

Using Seitz, write out a 3+ page close-reading of the relationship of the narrator to his addressee of The Yellow Wallpaper,by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

*** If everyone in your group is working on the same text, you may opt to collaborate on a single piece of writing using Google documents.

In this genre of close-reading, you are working to:

* Show how the text WORKS to invite someone to become its addressee–how the text is designed for the reader to set aside her everyday way of thinking and submit to the controlling value of the text (someone who listens for the VALUE of the controlling idea, but in a somewhat mechanical way, that is, unquestioningly);

* Show how the text WORKS to maintain this relationship;

* Show how the text simulateously WORKS to undermine this relationship, allowing for the possibility of the addressee to become a Reader”;

* Reveal some insight into how narratives work rhetorically.

What you need to do in your actual writing:

* Introduce and define your analytical terms using Seitz, Gallop, and class discussion:


controlling value





* Use particular moments or passages within the text to show how the text interpellates (invites, persuades, tricks) the person reading into assuming the role of an addressee, that is, show how the text brings someone to TURN toward the controlling value of the narrator, seeing/hearing and honoring it.

* Show how the text leaves open and even encourages possibilities for reading the relationship between the narrator and addressee, which then allows for other possibilities for interpretation beyond the narrators intentions.

Core values emphasized in this assignment:

1. Writing Arts students will understand and be able to apply the conventions of a variety of writing genres and rhetorical concepts.

3. Writing Arts students will demonstrate the ability to critically read complex and sophisticated texts in a variety of subjects.

Hints for ways to go about writing this:

What we are practicing is projecting responsibly, that is, accounting for how we are projecting (Gallop), which then opens the door for alternative interpretations of your various Virtual readers(Seitz).

To that end, you cannot just theorize stuff out of the blue; you must build your interpretation from the surface of the text itself, not from the Deep meaningsbehind the text (which is what an addressee would do).

The key question to keep asking is: WHAT DOES THE TEXT DOHERE in terms of the narrator/addressee/reader set of relationships?

It might be helpful for you to consider YOUR audience to be the addressee of the text (someone fully immersed into the values of the text), rather than the Teacherwho knows all.

In other words, work to educate and reveal to your audience (those swept up into the controlling value of the text) the nature of the relationship between the narrator and the addressee, such that you persuade your audience, by degrees, to transform from being an addressee of the text to being a Close-readerof the power relationships between narrators and addressees.

This MAY require moving through a critical phase (revealing the limitations of being an addressee), and then PERHAPS returning to seeing the value of being an addressee and a reader together.

Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with being an addressee (one who honors the values of a given narration as magnificent). Likewise, there is nothing wrong with being critical. However, something may become possible in the interaction between the two, something… rhetorical.

(I have the Yellow Wallpaper and Seitz documents on my computer, I need to attach them)