Critical Statement: In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Gilman employs exclamatory functions within her syntax to display the symbolism of the woman within the wallpaper to illustrate her own constricted freedom due the influence of the masculine dominance. In the beginning of the story, Gilman illustrates the wallpaper as a catalyst for exhibiting the intensity of the narrator’s psychological disorder. After the narrator and her husband settle into their new house, the narrator inspects her room, and begins discerning ominous relations and elements within the wallpaper. “This paper looks to me as if it KNEW what a vicious influence it had! There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside …show more content…
Moreover, the author admits her visualizations to be eerie and uncanny, when she exclaims, “I never saw so much expression in an inanimate thing”, which shows that she recognizes the absurdity of the situation. The use of an exclamatory sentence displays feelings of desperation since the narrator illustrates the desire to justify her actions.The visualization of the wallpaper as an animated objects creates a connection between the narrator and the wallpaper, as she desperately yearns for help for her problems. The use of a nervous tone through figurative diction shows the narrator’s deterioration of a cognitive abilities as she analyzes the wallpaper through a negative and gruesome lens. The description of the patterns as lifeless also contributes as evidence for her transition from rationality to insanity. Similarly, the desire to justify herself displays the denial created due to the constant pressure from …show more content…
The connection between the narrator and delusion is established with the delusion being the reflection of the narrator, herself. The women behind the patterns are illustrated as a symbol for the generally oppressed women in our world, as she states, “The woman behind shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one”. The “crawling” of the women illustrates the stereotypical fragility and insignificance, since “crawling”is associated with a child and a bug’s efforts to secure itself safety within a corner. In the phrase, “ the pattern strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their eyes white!”, the “pattern” is characterized as a restrictive entity that prevents the women from attaining their freedom, therefore the “pattern” symbolizes the male hierarchy since the masculine gender is portrayed as a controlling power for the narrator. Moreover, a despairing tone is employed through words that connote the end of life and hope such as “strangles”, “crawling”,and “white”. The desperation displays the effect of the intense pressure of expectations surrounding an individual, which leads to a growing desire of escape. Such collected pressure, slowly contributes to the worsening of the
The protagonist of the story, a woman suffering from postpartum depression, is confined to a room with yellow wallpaper that she finds increasingly oppressive and disturbing. The wallpaper symbolizes the patriarchal society that confines women to prescribed roles and suppresses their creativity and autonomy. The protagonist's obsession with the wallpaper represents her own descent into madness, as she struggles against the constraints of her society and her own mental illness. Both stories show how women are oppressed by patriarchal societies and how that oppression has a profound impact on their mental and emotional well-being. The symbols used in both stories convey the sense of confinement and the destruction of potential that comes with that oppression.
The narrator eventually comes to identify with the woman she believes is trapped in the paper. Mínguez asserts that the young woman is, "projecting her own desire for escape onto her incomprehensible hieroglyphics" (55). The protagonist feels so confined that she sees herself as the one trapped in the wallpaper. If the woman had been allowed to use writing as an outlet, her obsession with the wallpaper may have never
When describing her surroundings and her negative perception of it, the protagonist says, "I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin" (Gilman 2). This description shows the protagonist's growing frustration and dissatisfaction with her surroundings and prolonged isolation, which reflects her deteriorating mental state. Gilman uses diction to show the characters deteriorating mental state by an extreme description of something that normally wouldn’t be bothersome. The affect the wallpaper has on the protagonist shows that a part of her illness is caused by the negative perception of her surroundings, and not somatic.
I don’t like it a bit. I wonder— I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!” (231). Shortly after the narrator who remains unnamed and her husband John rented an old mansion, the narrator encountered a state of delusion in the wallpaper that surrounded her. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator develops a peculiar relationship with the wallpaper; the author’s use of allusion, symbolism, and personification identifies the existence of the woman’s illness.
The narrator is a woman who is imaginative trying to make her mind think and realize the meaning of the yellow wallpaper. She describes the wallpaper as, “repellant, almost revolting; smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow turning sunlight” (Gilman 641). This specific wallpaper makes the narrator feel a certain way. At first, she does not like the color or how it looks. But then not having anything else to do in the room, she starts examining 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
She writes, "The front pattern does move--and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over. And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern--it strangles so: I think that is why is has so many heads.
Initially, the narrator is disgusted and irritated by the paper, claiming, “I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (339). This reaction mirrors that of a sane person’s--fearing the unknown, they distance themselves from insanity and any iteration of it, seeing it as grotesque and shameful. Yet, as she spends more time in the room, she grows interested in the wallpaper and begins to investigate. She comes to the conclusion that: “I didn 't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman” (346).
Martin states that the narrator’s confinement in the upstairs bedroom fortifies her mental illness developing into “a frightening hallucinatory world constructed around the pattern of the yellow paper on the wall.” This shift in her identity happens as the shift in her disposition towards the wallpaper changes. The wallpaper is a visible metaphor that eventually becomes her identity. In the beginning of her stay in the bedroom she says the wallpaper is “committing artistic sin” (Par34) and can push anyone to “suddenly commit suicide” (Par35) These comments show her despise towards the wallpaper and the separation she originally has from it.
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
She begins to see strangles heads in the wallpaper, which can be a symbolic representation of the patriarchal order that stifled women. The bars on the wallpaper that cage the imaginary women are a reflection of her own situation where she is confined in the old mansion. Even the smell of the wallpaper, which she describes as being ‘yellow’ and present throughout the house, is a reflection of the mental repression that is always present in her life. She is so consumed by the smell that she thinks about burning the old mansion just to cover it
Gilman develops setting in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by describing the connection there is between the house and the narrator. The narrator tells us that the house is three miles from the village, that it has walls and gates that lock, and separate little houses. This gives us a sense that the house is isolated from society. Within the house the narrator is greeted to a “big, airy room, with windows that look all ways”. The windows in her room ,that look out everywhere, are “ barred” forbidding any sort of escape.
Passage Analysis #1 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” Gilman, in this particular passage of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” explores the theme of female oppression through imagery and symbolism of the wall-paper. These elements of literature make the wall-paper come to life for both the narrator and the audience. “The front pattern does move”(55) personifies the wall-paper to be so animate and physically restraining that the woman behind it must shake it to attempt to escape. The italicization of “does” serves to further affirm that the wallpaper exhibits restrictive human-like behaviors - particularly those of dominant men in society. The narrator states that there are “a great many woman behind”(55), extending the metaphor to all Victorian women in the United States and others around the world who are oppressed.
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.
Throughout short fiction, Charlotte Gilman is most famously noted for her ability to create strong gothic themes in her writing. This is especially true in her 1890s story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Overall, an important theme in Charlotte Gilman short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is that when combined, isolation and oppression often lead to negative consequences such as insanity and mental instability. Gilman achieves this through her thorough use of symbolism and settings that helps to highlight and establish the overall theme.