In literature we find many common themes between authors and stories. In “A Rose for Emily,” and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” we find a common social struggle. Both women live in a time when their rights are limited. Their will is subjected to that of a man. Even though the stories were written over 30 years apart, both of our main characters were suffering from this social struggle which ultimately lead them into self-destruction.
The South had very strict social structures, fully enforced by men. Emily, in “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner is subject to this structure. She was once a very beautiful woman, perhaps the most beautiful woman in Jefferson, Mississippi. Emily was raised in the most beautiful house in the town, on the most distinguished street in the town, during the Antebellum period. The Antebellum period was prior to the Civil War. During that time most Southerners did not hold the social class of the Plantation Elite, but they found superiority in other ways to maintain the social structure of the time. They felt themselves not only above the blacks, but felt that they were superior to the Northerners. They founded this belief in the fact that they produced vastly larger crops than the North and the fact that many of their residents had held high social standing in Europe. They carried their European traditions and thought processes with them as they immigrated. (Irvin, 1964)
During this time frame though, ideas of reform had started to spring up. A younger generation was forgetting the ways of their elders and wanted society as a whole to change. The women’s suffrage movement was gaining momentum and women started to think they had value outside motherhood and domestic enhancement. They were going to work in factories, becoming nurses, attending higher education institutions and even supporting causes such as abolition. Most women who supported abolition thought that by supporting this cause it would...