From the two texts listed in the course list, which are “Rappaccini’s Daughter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins, tropes of isolation are evident. Both stories present the theme of isolation as portrayed by essential characters and the implication of the analogy to the particular character. Under normal circumstances, isolation is associated with loneliness and fatigue, which arises within individuals with specific mental or health problems. However, the two texts reveal isolation as a form of therapy for specific health conditions. The proposed research is, therefore, aimed at finding the use of isolation as a theme across these two texts.

In the two stories mentioned, the significant use of the trope of isolation is to assist individuals involved with their health conditions. According to the anthropology “Rappaccini’s Daughter” Beatrice is confined within a garden where her father, a medical researcher, grows poisonous plants (Catania). The girl is brought up to tend to these toxic plants and ends up becoming resistant to the poison. From his observation, it is clear that being isolated has some effects of developing some immune against certain chemicals. In this scenario, Beatrice has become poisonous due to the confinement inside the gardens filled with toxic plants. Any treatment administers with the aim of curing the condition results in adverse effects. For example, an antidote administered to be Beatrice by Giovanni ends up killing her instead of treating the poison in her.

According to previous research, the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is another Gothic style that utilizes the trope of isolation among the main character. In this case, loneliness is treated as a therapy for specific health conditions. The story revolves around a woman and her husband moving to a house where the woman is meant to spend time with the aim of recovering from a nervous condition. Apparently, isolation is used to bring a positive outcome out of the woman since; according to medics, studying a normal life interacting with people would only worsen her health condition. In short, the use of isolation in the two studied stories is based on the importance of separation to the main characters of these books.

Evidently, isolation has been used in the two stories to create emotional effects among the characters. First, the fact that Beatrice is confined by her scientist father, who faces her to tend to poisonous plants, establishes some sense of emotional disturbances. On the other hand, the woman in the “The Yellow Wallpaper” is isolated to recover from a nervous condition also create some psychological distress (Dosani 411). Even though the isolation is due to a medical condition, the emotions created within the victim is negative.

However, the two stories view isolation differently. In the “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” isolation becomes dangerous, and any attempt to fix the effects resulting from the effects of isolation are dangerous. Contrary, “The Yellow Wallpaper” presents the tropes of isolation without showing the dangers associated with attempts to recover from the effects of the separation.


Works Cited

Catania, Amy. “Trapped by the Gaze: Spatial and Power Dynamics of Courtship in the Grimm Brothers'”Rapunzel” and Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” (2015).

Dosani, Sabina. “The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: a gothic story of postnatal psychosis–psychiatry in literature.” The British Journal of Psychiatry 213.1 (2018): 411-411.