“The Yellow Wallpaper” a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and published in 1892, is both a psychological and feminist piece of literature. It demonstrates oppression, defined as “the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.” The story, written in a form of a journal, is seen through the eyes of a nameless female narrator, who moves with her husband, John, to an estate during the summer to cope with her “hysteria”, eventually leading her to a state of oppression and insanity. The story reflects the confinement and restraint most women during the 1900s felt in marriages and the inferiority women had too men.
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.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the female narrator is greatly troubled by the suppression of her imagination by her husband and her ultimate isolation due to this subordination. These feelings are reflected through the author’s use of setting as the narrator’s dreary and malicious descriptions of the house and the wallpaper mirrors her emotional position. Throughout the reading, the reader is exposed to the narrator’s in-depth loss of touch with reality as she sinks further and further into her own reality. As she becomes more isolated, her descriptions of the house become more abstract as she begins to focus on the wallpaper and starts to see herself as being hidden behind it.
The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story full of imaginative symbolism and descriptive settings. However, without the narrator’s unique point of view and how it affects her perception of her environment, the story would fail to inform the reader of the narrator’s emotional plummet. The gothic function of the short story is to allow the reader to be with the narrator as she gradually loses her sanity and the point of view of the narrator is key in ensuring the reader has an understanding of the narrator’s emotional and mental state throughout the story. It’s clear from the beginning of the story that the narrator’s point of view greatly differs from that of her husband’s and other family in her life.
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.
The house is in a super-isolated place. The house represents the narrator 's personal emotions; restricted and isolation. In the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the symbolism of the the wallpaper and the diary demonstrate the psychological difficulties, that were caused by being disrespected and thought less of, during the 19th century for women across the United States. In the “Yellow Wallpaper”, the woman 's husband John neglects her symptoms of postpartum and says she has a slight hysterical tendency.
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.
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.
Enclosed to the four wall of this “big” room, the narrator says “the paint and paper look as if a boy’s school had used it” because “it is stripped off” indicating that males have attempted to distort women’s truth but somehow did not accomplish distorting the entire truth (Perkins Gilman, 43). When the narrator finally looked at the wall and the paint and paper on it, she was disgusted at the sight. The yellow wallpaper, she penned, secretly against the will of men, committed artistic sin and had lame uncertain curves that suddenly committed suicide when you followed them for a little distance. The narrator is forced to express her discomfort with the image to her husband, he sees it as an “excited fancy” that is provoked by the “imaginative power and habit of story making” by “a nervous weakness” like hers (Perkins Gilman, 46). Essentially, he believes that her sickness is worsening and the depth of her disease is the cause of the unexpected paranoia.
The narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the main character in the short novel. She is a young newly married mother in the upper middle class who is very imaginative. The narrator is going through a stage of depression and believes the house they have temporarily moved into is haunted. What the narrator is actually experiencing is called Postpartum depression, depression suffered by a mother following childbirth. This illness can arise from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.
To be trapped in one's own mind may be the worst prison imaginable. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", the narrator of the story is constantly at battle with many different forces, such as John, her husband, the yellow wallpaper that covers the walls of her room, and ultimately herself. Throughout the story the narrator further detaches herself from her life and becomes fixated on the yellow wallpaper that surrounds her in her temporary home, slowly driving her mad. The narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a major and dynamic character as she is the main character of the story, and throughout the story her personality and ways of thinking change drastically.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” tells the story of a young woman who is battling severe depression. The protagonist is essentially locked away for the summer as a cure for her psychological disorder(s) (Craig 36). Being locked in the house with the yellow wallpaper worsens her mental state and eventually drives her to insanity. Throughout the course of the story, the protagonist’s mental state noticeably declines; she claims there are people in the wallpaper and believes it is haunting her. Several Gothic themes are scattered throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper”; however, the protagonist’s isolation, the presence of insanity, and the occurring idea of supernatural elements are most prominent and can be used to justify “The Yellow
She proceeds to explain the contributing factors of the narrator succumbing to her “disease” of hysteria which was isolation from social interaction and the restriction of her own thoughts. She points out that the narrator is confined to a simple square room with nothing to offer in terms of mental health therapy. The narrator’s lack of the ability to interact with anything or anyone leads to infatuation with the wallpaper, which turns out to be “the
To capture the reader’s attention Charlotte Gilman uses a short story demonstration fear and insanity. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Gilman uses imagery to illustrate how a limited role of a female in society can drive her insane. The house portrays the narrator's isolation.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was not just an author but a great feminist. Gillam inspired countless women to seek indecency with her work like "The Yellow Wallpaper. " The story is a fictionalized short story of a woman who is descending into madness while dealing with her mental illness and cannot heal due to her husband 's lack of belief. At the same time, the woman also known as the narrator feels imprisoned in her marriage. The story takes place during a time were women and had no independence and were not able to voice their own opinion.