“Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!”(Gilman 244). The narrator describes herself becoming part of an inanimate object and escaping her confinement. When she becomes depressed after giving birth to her child, the narrator has strict orders to follow in order to “make her better.” As she follows the doctor’s commands and isolates herself from everyone and everything she loved, she loses her mental stability.
Her descriptions of the room, with the furniture seemingly being nailed to the floor and the windows being “barred” show an underlying understanding that her thoughts and personality is being confined. The irony present in this description, due to her belief that the room used to be a nursery, shows her early denial of her husband’s dominance over her. As the story progresses and she begins to see the woman behind the wallpaper, the reader is exposed to the narrator’s realization that she is the one that is actually being suppressed. The descriptions of the wallpaper, showing how confining it is for the symbolic woman behind it, shows how the narrator is being trapped by those bars in both her marriage and in her mental illness. Thus when she says, “At night in any kind of light… it becomes bars,” the reader is shown how restricted the narrator feels, reflected through the wallpaper.
At first it is seen as nothing but an old ruined wallpaper with a “bad” pattern. As the story progresses she stares at the paper for hours and sees a sub-pattern behind the main pattern, visible only in certain light. She hen sees a desperate woman trying to leave the wallpaper which shows how the women feel trapped. The author uses the yellow wallpaper as a symbol of the oppressive life that many women have today and back then.
It's yellow color symbolizes the way the narrator feels about her situation. "Unclean", "dull", "sickly" is how she may have felt deep down about her relationship with her husband and the life she lived under him. The wallpaper itself becomes a symbol for her. She uses it as a coping method and projects her feelings onto it and the woman she sees in it. The windows symbolize how she is trapped in this marriage and she can only view the beautiful outside through the many windows, reminding her of what she cannot have.
The woman was obsessed with the wallpaper she begins to hallucinate that something was creeping on her. She had locked herself in the room and would not let anyone in the bedroom with her because she was trying to trap the creeper that she thought she saw. The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” say,“‘Open the door, my darling!’ , ‘I can’t,’ said I. ‘ The key is down by the front door under a plantain leaf’”
The reader of this story can tell this woman is not only suffering from insanity, but also loneliness. She often finds herself crying and says, “I cry at nothing, and I cry most of the time.” She attempts to tell her husband how she is feeling but she is unable to, she says “I was crying before I had finished.” (681) the reader can see how this woman is upset and it is not only due to her illness. Infect, the woman makes many comments about how her husband is not reassuring.
This woman spends her life isolated, on drugs, and most likely fed lies by who she believes is her husband. This unknown factor of the story allows for many different interpretations, such as the idea that this woman is insane, being medicated for insanity, and her husband is actually her doctor. There is also a ghostly vibe, especially when the woman starts talking about the wallpaper, in which she believes a woman is trapped. In the end, the popular belief is that she hangs herself in front of her husband, while trying to get everything sorted out. The woman never identifies herself, she never acts like she knows who she is, and she never gives any signs of competence.
As the narrator becomes more fascinated with the wallpaper she moves progressively away from her normal day-to-day routines and lifestyle. When the narrator finally recognizes herself as the woman trapped in the wallpaper she screams at her husband "I 've got out at last," (Gilman 656) "you can 't put me back" (Gilman 656). She realizes woman are forced to hide behind the internal patterns of their lives and they need that she needs to be
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story set in the 1890s about a female narrator who struggles with postpartum depression. She moves into a home for the summer with her husband, John. Since she has this sickness, John forbids her from doing any sort of activities other than some houes work. If she was doing anything, her husband would want her to rest to help with her illness. This was a common "cure" known at the rest cure back then.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story told through diary entries of a woman who suffers from postpartum depression. The narrator, whose name is never mentioned, becomes obsessed with the ugly yellow wallpaper in the summer home her husband rented for them. While at the home the Narrator studies the wallpaper and starts to believe there is a woman in the wallpaper. Her obsession with the wallpaper slowly makes her mental state deteriorate. Throughout The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses many literary devices such as symbolism, personification and imagery to help convey her message and get it across to the reader.
It is evident that change is a natural component in the average person’s life. Some however, are more drastic than others. This is exhibited through the first-person narrator of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wall Paper”, who undergoes a drastic change in her health due to postpartum depression, her relationships with the individuals around her, and her isolation. These changes later develop an internal conflict in the form of a troubling identity plight.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” Literary Analysis The “Yellow Wallpaper” is a iconic short story written by Charlotte Perkins, a famous feminist author. The novel takes place the 19th century and deals with the issue of how women dealt with mental health issues, specifically postpartum depression. Back in the 19th century the way physicians dealt with women 's mental health was much different then it is today, back then they believed that the cure for depression was solvable by isolation and rest. As a result many women suffering from postpartum depression were forced into isolation which only made their situation worse. Jane; the narrator of the short story, is one of these woman forced into the rest treatment by her physician husband.
The repressed self is released out by detaching from reality. This detachment allows her to be free from social norms as her madness now allows her to no longer conform to cultural bounds. Her final protest, thus, comes out in the form of insanity. She can now escape from the cage of her husband by refusing to accept her identity as a repressed woman. This text thus brings to focus the dark theme that cultural and social expectations of women are so rigid that the protagonist has to give up her identity as a sane woman to finally achieve the freedom she is denied through
However as time moves on, and the woman in the wallpaper becomes more and more real to her, it’s clear that her mental state is rapidly depleting. Her first description of a figure in the wallpaper came when she stated that the wallpaper had a “recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down” (219). By the time the story ends, the narrator had turned into the
In the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” the woman suddenly becomes obsessed by the pattern and the color of the wallpaper. ”It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw – not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper – the smell! ... The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper, a yellow smell.