Throughout the story Yellow Wallpaper and the movie Shutter Island the main characters find themselves led into a state of insanity through their isolation. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator explains that she is suffering from postpartum depression, leaving her husband to treat her with rest cure or bed rest. During this time, she is placed in a solitary room with walls covered in yellow wallpaper. Similarly in Shutter Island Andrew Laeddis is a demented Shutter Island Patient. He made up a personality, nicknamed Teddy Daniels, to cope with the fact that he killed his wife after she drowned their children. The idea effectively adds to the mood and atmosphere and also contributes to the wife’s and andrews paranoia and hallucinations.
In the Yellow wallpaper because of the narrators isolation she becomes obsessed with wallpaper and this adds to the mood and atmosphere of the story. Without the wallpaper as a main driving point it would not have the same feeling of Isolation. “It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore” (Gilman 2).
In this quote she explains where she is as big, airy, with windows, and sunshine. It is the wallpaper that makes it feel like she is trapped and isolated within. “Formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about that silly and conspicuous front design” (Gilman 4). She sees figures in the wallpaper and is trapped within it and the wallpaper controls the mood and atmosphere throughout the story. As for Shutter Island, Andrews made up personality greatly affects the isolated mood and atmosphere of the story. To explain, in his made up personality he and his friend are trapped and isolated on the Island with nowhere to go. Without this idea of them being trapped on the island we would not get the same effect of the mood and atmosphere. Teddy Daniels: “I had a friend. I was with him yesterday, but we got separated. Have you seen him?” Rachel 2: “Marshal. . . you have no friends”. The only way off the island is the ferry, and they control it. You’ll never leave here” (Martin Scorsese).
This is an example of Andrews Isolation and it adds to the mood and atmosphere because without his made up personality he would simply be a sick patient on the Island whose live is already gone anyway. In the Yellow Wallpaper isolation is the central driving force to character and plot development and is a major cause to the wife’s paranoia and hallucinations because throughout the story she becomes more and more involved in the wallpaper and it eventually affects her sickness. “The bedstead is fairly gnawed! But I must get to work” (Gilman 11). As the story goes on she becomes more crazy and this an example of that because she thinks about chewing the bed like an animal whereas she wouldn’t have done this at the beginning when she didn’t have as many hallucinations. The isolation of the wallpaper is therefore a major reason for her paranoia and hallucinations. In shutter Island isolation is very similar in the way it affects Andrew because he used a different personality to deal with his sickness similar to how the wife used the wallpaper.
Teddy Daniels: “You know, this place makes me wonder.
Chuck Aule: Yeah, what’s that, boss? Teddy Daniels: Which would be worse – to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”(Martin Scorsese). At the end of the film Andrew gave up on trying to save himself, and this shows how his isolation throughout the film made him realize what was really happening and that there was no way to stop it.
George Noyce: “This is a game. All of this is for you. You’re not investigating anything. You’re a fucking rat in a maze” (Martin Scorsese). This quote is another example of the isolation that there was because Andrew is being described as a rat with trapped in maze. In conclusion, both the Yellow Wallpaper and shutter Island rely on the theme of isolation as a central driving force to character and plot development. The idea effectively adds to the mood and atmosphere and also contributes to the wife’s and andrews paranoia and hallucinations.
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