In order to understand the significance of the houses in the novels ‘The Destructors’ and the ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, the context of both novels must be understood in-depth. The story of The Destructors, for example, deals with a number of allegories pertaining to the post independent Sri Lankan state. The house in the novel plays a major symbolism in defining the symbol of the Sri Lankan state. The author brilliantly used personification in order to make the house in the story as a character of its own this is seen when Blackie was approaching the day of destruction and the house was described as if it was sleeping. The surrounding area of the house is also a good representation of the places around Sri Lanka which were put into pieces by aerial bomb attacks. The place was then left with misery and darkness- Graham mentioned that “"We'd be like worms(simile), don't you see, in an apple(simile). When we came out again there'd be nothing there, no staircase, no panels, nothing but just walls, and the we'd make the walls fall down--somehow (5)."
On the other hand, the story The Yellow Paper focuses on roles of women in society. The main character in the story was oppressed and embodies the effect of oppression in society. The author is able to use symbols such as the house, the wallpaper which represents the oppression experienced and later on the self-expression of the character. One of the pressing issues in today’s time is the issue on gender inequality and the author brilliantly used the women’s raw emotion towards the discrimination they feel and turn them into a positive transformation.- Gliman shared that“Life is very much more exciting now than it used to be”
The similarity of the houses in the two stories is seen through the symbols they represent. The house in the story of The Destructors is a good embodiment of the country’s dark times and political struggle. The destruction was no only felt in a physical aspect of the house but more so in the emotional state of the people who fell victim to both the political and war problem of the country. When “T” compared to the boys to worms, he was inferring to the destruction felt from the inside. He not only wanted to damage the house but he wanted to erase it from the face of the earth. He wanted to start something other than a house because he felt that it was the right time to build a brand new Sri Lanka. The destruction of the house was then turned into a source of hope for a rejuvenated Sri Lanka. Similar to the house in The Destructors, the house in the Yellow Wallpaper is also used as a symbol for negative feeling. Opposite of the usual symbolism of a house as a secure place for women’s development, the house was descried as haunted- “there is something queer about it.” The character knows the physical beauty of the house but cannot help but feel negative towards the house. But in the end the house also served as a witness to her transformation and metamorphosis and in the end she chose to keep the house.
The main difference, however, is in the fate of the houses in the two stories. In The Yellow Wallpaper the main character opted to keep the house because it reminded her of her strength, it was like her cocoon that taught her courage and to go beyond what was dictated by society. In Destructors, the main character felt that the house must be destroyed in order for them to move forward. He felt that the house was a reminder of the pain and miseries experienced by Sri Lanka and that losing it mean a brand new life for everyone.
Gilman, C. The Yellow Wall Paper. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/literatureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf. Web 17 Jul 2015.
Greene, G. The Destructors. https://100mudcats.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/destructors.pdfWeb. 17 Jul 2015