Gilman shows the progression of the main character’s insanity through the woman in the wallpaper, John, and the bed. Like most individuals, the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” gradually shows increased symptoms of insanity. She begins the summer as a sane individual. As time progresses, she starts acting
“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.
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).
In her society, it is the woman that is left to be alone in her own thoughts, shown through her husband’s freedom to leave the house and not come back until he wants to versus her confinement to the house. This is reflected through the various “hedges and walls and gates that lock”, making her stay isolated in the house. Ultimately, the character is overtaken by the imagination and through the
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’”
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
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.
The short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a brilliant piece of fictional literature. The tale involves a mentally ill woman who is kept in a hideous, yellow room under the orders of her husband, John, who is a physician. The ill woman is conflicted due to the fact that the horrifying yellow wallpaper in the room is trapping a woman who she must help escape, but the sick woman is aware that she must get better in order to leave the terrifying, yellow room. The setting and personification applied in the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, allows readers to develop an understanding of the sickness of the main character faces.
If she is not actually insane, then the mere confinement and inactivity could have been sufficient to cause a mental breakdown. Either way, whether she is actually insane or not, the yellow wallpaper does serve a purpose as an obvious catalyst for her mental deterioration. We do not yet know if it is merely a symptom of her insanity or the cause. The narrator, however tears up the wallpaper at the end, which shows that she does not want to accept how insane she has become. She attempts to find the “women” when tearing down the wallpaper.
The heavy bedstead, which was nailed to the ground, was another feature that represents the room as a jail cell. Therefore, the room that she is prisoned shows how the madness benefited her to gain control and achieve a way to escape her confinement. In conclusion, the diverse literature 's do share a common theme that shows women fighting to overcome societal expectations due to the female gender not valued as thinkers capable of being their equals and mental illness can be caused by society’s stereotypical
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
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.
In her childhood, the unnamed narrator has had a wild imagination which still haunts her: she admits "I do not sleep," and as a result she becomes restless.(653). Her imagination makes her live in an imagined world of her own and completely detached from reality. The
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.
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.