“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.
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.
During her time in the room she felt the room “at night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!” (Gilman 304). The narrator of the yellow wallpaper descends into madness to escape the cruel dominance of her society. As the story progresses the yellow wallpaper becomes a constant companion. She first dislikes the color and despises the pattern, but after closely studying the pattern “a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design” and after obsessing over the painting she finds bars hidden.
At first it is seen as nothing but an old ruined wallpaper with a “bad” pattern. As the story progresses she stares at the paper for hours and sees a sub-pattern behind the main pattern, visible only in certain light. She hen sees a desperate woman trying to leave the wallpaper which shows how the women feel trapped. The author uses the yellow wallpaper as a symbol of the oppressive life that many women have today and back then.
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator is suffering from postpartum depression. The narrator 's husband John, who also happens to be her physician, prescribes the rest cure to help lift his wife of her depressive state and ultimately heal her depression. However, the rest cure does not allow the narrator to experience any mental stimulation. Therefore, to manage her boredom the narrator begins obsessing over the pattern of the yellow wallpaper. After analyzing the pattern for awhile, the narrator witnesses a woman trapped behind bars.
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.
In the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman represents how wretchedness is overlooked and changed into blended sentiments that eventually result in a significantly more profound enduring incongruity. The Yellow Wallpaper utilizes striking mental and psychoanalytical symbolism and an effective women's activist message to present a topic of women' have to escape from detainment by their male centric culture.
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.
Insanity is a deranged state of the mind. Not everyone has the same experiences nor the same symptoms which lead to their mental disorder. In her story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents a peculiar case of insanity. The main character is put on bed rest to overcome her temporary nervous depression. However, while being stuck inside the room, the unreliable narrator increasingly becomes more and more symptomatic. Gilman shows the progression of the main character’s insanity through the woman in the wallpaper, John, and the bed.
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.
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 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.
The passage on page 56 stated “She began to make plans and to dream of change, of life somewhere else. Some place where at last she would be permanently satisfied. Her anticipatory thoughts waltzed and eddied about to the sweet silent music of change. With rapture almost, she let herself drop into the blissful sensation of visualizing herself in different, strange places, among approving and admiring people, where she would be appreciated, and understood.” This occurs directly after Helga has decided to leave for her aunt in Copenhagen. Where she decided not to leave that very day because of a dinner party that is being thrown for Anne, and proceeds to get ready in one of her more racy numbers and purchases Anne a beautiful arrangement of flowers.
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.
The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is suffering severe depression and it only gets worse within time. She is a new mother, a newlywed, and is being plagued as having post-partum depression by her readers. Her husband keeps her confined for the “rest cure” from family and friends so that she cannot be influenced by anyone. His solution and the other physician’s solution to her sickness is to place her in isolation, and because he is a prestige physician, everyone assumes he knows what is best for her.