COMPAIRING PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY IN THE YELLOW WALLPAPER AND
THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO
Being depressed and seeking revenge can entice a person to a point where they have gone
insane and are so inebriated by the enchantment that they are unable of either realizing their
madness or opposing the temptation. As a result, their feeling of reality has been changed to the
final turning point. Although at first, it might seem as though The Yellow Wallpaper and The
Cask of Amontillado have very few similarities. The conflict, setting and the life experiences of
Poe and Gilman’s life influences both of their protagonist from a Psychoanalytic Perspective.
Firstly, the narrator The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman and The Cask of
Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe have psychiatric problems caused by person vs. person and
person vs. self conflicts. For instance, the narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper is in person vs.
person conflict with her husband for locking her up in a room against her will "I don't like our
room a bit…But John would not hear of it"(Gilman, 648). Both protagonists are in conflict with
the antagonist which soon caused them to descend even deeper into their mental illnesses.
Accordingly, the narrators also suffer from a person vs. self conflict, where they are in dispute
with their inner thoughts. A prominent example of this is In The Cask of Amontillado. His
revenge plot did not give him the immediate sense of satisfaction he was hoping to receive.
Furthermore, I think Montressor was about to die when he told this story, he has been paranoid
all his life for the crime he has committed and was haunted by Fortunato last words, “Montresor,
for the love of God!”(Poe, 5). This situation pushes me to believe that Montressor felt guilty for
what he has done and wanted to confess his sins before he dies. After a period, these conflicts
began to create insecurities that cause their illnesses. In The Yellow Wallpaper, the protagonist
feels as if she has been replaced as John’s wife. Her husband has replaced her with a new woman
to take care of their babies named Mary “It is fortunate Mary is so good with the baby.” (Gilman,
649). Furthermore, in The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor portrays a sign of severe insecurities.
Fortunato “...had laughed at my proud name, Montresor, the name of an old and honored family”
(Poe, 68) and needed to pay. Therefore, seeking to murder somebody who threatened your social
class, shows he is a very insecure man. These ideas support the indisputable fact that both
protagonists have several conflicts which influence them to descend into madness.
Secondly, both short stories have settings that are relatively different. However, these
settings are vital for they impact the characters psychoanalytically, and help with the
advancement of the plot. Ultimately, the setting in The Cask of Amontillado is necessary for it
takes place underground during the night which plays a significant role in the story. The dramatic