The Lady in The Wall “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” (2016) is an American-Canadian horror film written and directed by Osgood Perkins. The main character Lily Saylor is a live-in nurse who suspects her elderly employer’s house may be haunted and “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman with Jane as the narrator who is a young, upper-middle-class woman, newly married and a mother, who is undergoing care for depression. Both women are challenged with mental issues after feeling trapped inside a house as they feel like they are being controlled by something in their house. Both the director of the movie and the author of the short story uses imagery, settings and foreshadowing which shows the comparisons of both women as they share similar experiences in life. Both story and movie use imagery device which bring it to life. It makes the reader and viewer imagine they’re in the scene. The use of imagery in “The Yellow Wallpaper” makes the reader fully understand the circumstances and the condition under which the character Jane lives. Charlotte Perkins Gilman often describes the wallpaper, each time giving more details. Jane describes the wallpaper as “the color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly Sulphur tint in others” (381). The intense descriptions of the wallpaper allow the reader into the essence the Jane, which illustrates her ever-deepening mental illness. The movie “I am the pretty thing that lives in the house” explains Lily briefly hallucinates that her arms have become bloated and covered in black mold spots. That evening, she spots the reflection of the figure dressed in white standing in the room but when she turns, no one is there. She would also hear mysterious noise, which made her afraid of the house. Lily found books written by Ms. Blum, an elderly lady she cared for, which she describes as thick and frightening. Upon caring for Ms. Blum, Lily would roam the house where she saw shadowy sights of a ghost of a young lady that died in the house. Based on the description of the movie and the short story, the director and author makes the reader feel like they are part of the scene and they can relate to it more.Another device used is the setting of the movie and the short story which takes place in a room. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the setting takes place in a single room where the narrator’s husband John, believes is best for her as she suffers postpartum depression after having her son. Jane feels isolated and restricted in the room and wants to spend more time outside, but her husband prevents her from doing so. The narrator describes the room as being big and airy with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was a nursey first and then a playroom and gymnasium with the windows barred for little children (381). In “I am the pretty thing that lives in the house” shares a similar setting as the short story whereas Lily spends most of her time in the room as she believed the house is haunted. The house is secluded with many hidden secrets and is brutally stained by the death of a young woman. The third and last device discovered in the movie and short story is foreshadowing. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator spoke mostly about the wallpaper in the room which is something the reader takes into consideration because it affects the narrator which makes her loose her sanity. At the beginning of the story, she describes the wallpaper as unclean and strangely faded and by the end of the story that’s how Jane feels. She said the wallpaper looks to her as if it knew what a vicious influence it had! There is a recurrent spot where the pattern looks like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at her upside down” (383). The wallpaper indeed had a vicious influence on the narrator because she started to hallucinate and at this point, she was losing her mind. Also, the discovery of the teeth marks on the bedstead foreshadows the narrator’s own insanity and suggests the narrator is not revealing everything about her behavior. In “I am the pretty thing that lives in the house”, Lily’s opening statement at her first day in the house tells us that she just turned 28 years old, but that she will never be 29. She talks about death, memory and says from where she is at now, she can be sure of a very few things. One of those things is her name. This indicates that Lily is already dead or will die at some point in the movie. Logic dictates that what we see on screen are her hazy memories of her short time in the house.In conclusion, the movie “I am the pretty thing that lives in the house and the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” represents the unique stories of the lives of two isolated women. They both share similar characteristics of mental illness. They are focused on the conflicts and psychological problems faced by both women. The characters, setting, imagery, and dilemma they experience make both story and movie interesting and unique.
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