The Yellow Wallpaper Argument Essay

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Skip to content THEBLUMEBLOG Exploring Literature in a Digital Age Menu The Yellow Wallpaper Argument Essay Written by theblume The_Yellow_Wallpaper_by_kaitaro04011“The Yellow Wallpaper” is, on its surface, about a woman driven insane by post-partum depression and a dangerous treatment. However, an examination of the protagonist’s characterization reveals that the story is fundamentally about identity. The protagonist’s projection of an imaginary woman — which at first is merely her shadow — against the bars of the wallpaper’s pattern fragments her identity, internalizing the conflict she experiences and eventually leading to the complete breakdown of the boundaries of her identity and that of her projected shadow. Constantly alone and forbidden…show more content…
She writes in her journal that “she has a rope so that if the woman does get out, and tries to get away, she can tie her” (Gilman 187). This moment is when her identity is spliced; the fact that she wishes to tie the woman reveals this. Instead of wishing to free the poor woman, she now plans on capturing her; thereby proving a change is taking place since her motives have suddenly altered. This switch is confirmed when she looks outside and ponders “if they all came out of the wallpaper as she did?” (Gilman 188). Using the word “they” implies that where there was once one woman, there are now many. It’s as if in this new mind she is able to see the world differently and reveal the others like the woman in the paper. Clearly she is no longer herself. Now, in the mind of her hallucination, she begins to worry if “she shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night,” this ties back to her observation that the woman creeps about during the day but is trapped behind the bars again during the night (Gilman 188). Now that the wallpaper has been removed she has escaped and the narrator is free to retreat into the hallucination’s
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