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Word Count: 1,120
Authors often write literature to have an emotional impact on the reader These effects vary from work to work and they may include happiness sorrow anger or shock Even authors who try to achieve the same effect may go about it in very different ways This paper discusses three short stories written to shock the reader but each uses a different method to achieve its effect While Kate Chopins The Story of an Hour uses a sudden shift in plot at the end of a short narrative Shirley Jacksons The Lottery gives hints throughout the story preparing the reader for a shocking ending in contrast Charlotte Perkins Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper shocks its readers through careful character development The narrator of Gilmans 1892 short story The Yellow Wallpaper is a woman who seeks professional medical assistance to treat her mild depression and nervousness ironically the treatment is much worse than the illness itself At the time Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper the accepted treatment for depression was complete rest in an isolated environment The narrators husband a doctor forces her to undergo this treatment consequently he imprisons her in a small room with no one to talk to and nothing to do When the narrator is trapped in this prison her only enjoyment is secretly writing in her journal Since Gilman tells the story of The Yellow Wallpaper through this journal the reader can easily see the narrators shocking mental deterioration during her period of imprisonment She originally thinks her prison room is The most beautiful place and the bars on the windows are for little children 231 however two weeks later she thinks the room is atrocious 232 Her mental state deteriorates rapidly soon she believes there is a figure in the wallpaper The narrator later identifies this figure as a woman trapped behind the pattern of the wallpaper Ironically her husband believes his treatment is helping her however when he enters the narrators
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