In this passage, Charlotte Perkins Gilman highlights the theme that women must use their intellect or go mad through the use of literary qualities and writing styles. Gilman also uses the use of capital letters to portray the decline in the narrators’ sanity. This shows the decline in the sanity of a person because the words in all-caps is shown as abrupt, loud remarks. Gilman uses this method multiple times in her short story and this method was used twice in this passage. When the narrator wrote, “LOOKING AT THE PAPER!”, the major decline in her mental health was shown.
Critical Lens Essay #2 In the 19th century women begun to rise up against gender roles and social expectations that have had oppressed women throughout history, women yearned to be just as equal as men. Authors like Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist author during the 19th century, would create characters and stories that would get her message across as shown in one of Gilman’s most famous stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” which touches upon a woman’s mental and physical health as well as the main character’s oppression which holded her back for a long time. The main character from “The Yellow Wallpaper” expresses throughout the story how she wishes to break free from all that is holding her back and live the life she has always wanted. “How wrong it it for a woman to expect the man to create a world she wants, rather than create it herself” (Anaϊs Nin)
Patronized Depression Could it be that the cause of sin and madness is due to the limitation of the human mind? In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells the story of a young women who tends to distract herself by trying to free the lady inside the wall. However, this figure might not only be the thing Jane or the narrator might want to free, as she is clinically depressed, and is constantly being patronized by John her husband, who seems to limit Jane’s interaction with other people and her personal diary. The Yellow wallpaper is seen as a way to escape her depression. In this story the role of Jane is limited due to her “Condition,” and her ability to express herself.
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.
As this progresses, the woman starts to go mad from ignorance and starts to believe there is someone behind the Wallpaper. In her room, the narrator starts to obsess over the Wallpaper. The Wallpaper symbolizes women starting to realize how unfair they were treated and how responded to this. As the women’s illness keeps getting subdued by her husband, she starts to go mad and the wallpaper demonstrates this. In the third entry of her diary she says, “Of
“They staggered from the studio, Missus leaning heavily on Josephine’s shoulder, her feet dragging behind.” (Conklin 188). Josephine lies, possibly to reassure Missus or to avoid the consequences that she as a slave may receive talking back to their masters. Conklin has created an air of frustration and hurt feelings in this scene as Missus confesses that she knows about Josephine’s thoughts of escaping, which seem to push Josephine further and further away from her. “A pure rage gripped Josephine,” and “darkness spilled forth into the room.” (189) With this you can see the author is really putting emphasis on these thoughts Josephine is having. It seems so out of character for Josephine its as if the darkness really has filled her.
She described the wallpaper as, “the color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight,” (227). The color yellow tends to represent the sun and can be interpreted as happiness, positivity, and joy; although, the narrator says that it is an unclean yellow that made her feel sick. This analogy implies that the narrator is in a position where she is ill but is not getting the help she desperately needs. The narrator goes on to say, “No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long,” (227).
3. As the story reaches a close, the descriptions of the wallpaper in the narrator 's bedroom become less realistic and start to mirror the narrator 's deteriorating mental state. The yellow color of the wallpaper isn 't as concerning to the narrator as the "yellow smell" (203) and the "many women behind" (203) it. She believes that the wallpaper "strangles them off" (203) so that the women can 't escape. In reality, the only woman the wallpaper is trapping is the narrator.
She becomes obsessed with the patterns of the wallpaper, but she mainly notices a woman that she thinks is trying to free herself from the confines of the wall. During the day this woman is still, but when night time comes around, it seems as though the woman creeps around. Towards the end of the story, the narrator has a breakdown and thinks that she is this woman inside of the wallpaper, and begins to perform similar actions like creeping around. This meaning of this scene is simple cause and effect. Not only did she already have postpartum depression, but she is basically trapped in this house for a whole summer with nothing to do so she can heal.
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman is seen descending into severe post-partum depression, and eventually madness. While this story and the woman herself can be analyzed through many different lenses of perspective, one lens which may not be seen often is how the woman is a hero, but a failed one at that. The narrator and main character of “The Yellow Wallpaper” can be determined as a kind of failed hero through an archetypal lens of analysis, which identifies her initiation, her quest, and the sacrificial scapegoat of the situation. Every hero needs some sort of start, with harrowing conditions, which metamorphoses them into an actual hero. Any hero’s initiation can be broken down into three parts consisting of the disconnection which sets them apart as someone whose storyline is worthy to be followed, their evolution as an individual, and their homecoming as a hero.