Literary Analysis Of The Yellow Wallpaper

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From Stylistics to Narratology
A Critical Reading of Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”

This paper aims to analyze “The Yellow Wallpaper” a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman employing a combination of two stylistics tools, namely transitivity and presupposition. Studying such linguistic elements coupled with background contextual factors aim at illustrating the female protagonist’s attempt to liberate herself from her husband’s restraints which characterize the pressure that was brought to bear on women by the Victorian society. The male-domineering America of the nineteenth-century would dictate ideal values of femininity including sexual purity, piety, domesticity and submissiveness with the least degree of tolerance for any “deviant” behavior on women’s side such as using their own intellect and talent. The narratological techniques employed in this story can further be utilized as a great indicator revealing the process of the main character’s mental deterioration which is caused by her deprivation from mental and physical activities. The narrator-focalizer proves to be unreliable throughout the text, though this unreliability serves to bond the implied author to its implied audience.
Key Words: Feminism, Mental illness, Transitivity, Presupposition, Implicature, Unreliable Narrator.

The American society of the nineteenth-century was obsessed with maintaining gender differences through regulation of behaviors, attitudes
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