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 Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in 1892. The story is told through a series of journal entries by a woman diagnosed with a “nervous condition”. The entries take place during her “rest treatment” prescribed by her physician (who is also her husband). Gilman uses her own experiences with the rest treatment to flawlessly animate the fall to madness. She uses an array of figurative language, an alluring mood, and a first person point of view to entirely capture the reader.
Charlotte Gilman 's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" focuses on the gradual mental degeneration of a young woman forced to undergo the treatment for depression while she is suffering the birth trauma.The story is written as a kind of diary of the narrator as she becomes more and more detached from surrounding her people. The reader sees only the narrator’s perspective, but her chaotic and irrational thoughts are sufficient to make it clear that her viewpoint is out of touch with the reality. The main character of the story begins experiencing vivid fantasies and delusions focused on her surroundings, all extremely violent and disturbing in nature. Though such
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Gilman critiques the restrictive nature of patriarchal society through the bars in the female narrator’s bedroom window that represent her relationship with her husband. As the narrator’s mental health deteriorates near the end of the story, she recognizes that the bars on her window physically confine her to her room. She states that “To jump out of the window would be admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong even to try” (Gilman 1694). Thus, Gilman clearly reveals to the reader that the narrator desires freedom but is kept in her room by the bars on her window. These bars directly relate to the narrator’s relationship with her husband, John. The narrator is not satisfied by her relationship with her
depression. In order to cure this depression, John, Jane’s husband and a doctor, administer 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.
The protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper anthropomorphizes the floral elements of the yellow wallpaper, wherein wallpaper is typically a feminine floral decoration on wall interiors. These elements signify the scrutiny Victorian society makes of lives of its womenfolk, particularly of women who are creative and insubordinate to their spouses. The protagonist is one such woman; her writing denounces her imaginative character and the surreptitious persistence of her writing denounces her matrimonial and feminine disobedience which were considered radical in her contemporary society. Gilman expresses the suppression felt by women from societal scrutiny to be one of “strangling”, through the narrator, who in one instance describes the wallpaper pattern like so: “it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads… the pattern strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their eyes white!” Her anthropomorphizing of the pattern of the wallpaper adopts a grimmer facet when she writes that “when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide.” It is also significant to note that the narrator describes the pattern as suicidal because it again emphasizes the narrator’s desperate, almost suicidal, need to flee the imprisonment of the nursery and from the oppressive, male-dominant society that the room and its wallpaper represent. Asides of the pattern, there are many probable connotations of the yellow colour of the wallpaper, for instance with jaundiced illness, and also the rigid oppression of masculine sun. While sickness can be associated with the colour yellow, its more established motif would seem be the conflict between the masculine sun and the feminine moon. In Gilman’s story, sunlight is linked with John’s
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, it is demonstrated that the oppression on women is a very real and hazardous thing. She depicts this through an experience of a crazy married woman who is trapped by her husband and contained in the mental prison that is her home. Using the aspects of gender criticism, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is in conjunction with these societal way to oppress women through the male dialogue and perspective.
Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour” is set in the late 1800s – a time when women were considered inferior to men. Women had traditional roles as wives and mothers. In this 19th century patriarchal society, Chopin shows us Louise Mallard, the main character, who does not comply with the female gender norms of the Victorian period. When Louise learns about the death of her husband, her reaction and the reaction of her sister and the doctor tell us a great deal about gender stereotyping during this time.
Since Louise is afflicted with heart trouble, her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richards told her this news about Brently (her husband) very gently. Supposedly, he died in a railroad disaster. Once hearing this news, Louise could not bear it. She began to change her mood very quickly. “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms.” (3). Louise rapidly started to show signs of depression. She was overwhelmed with this disastrous news. So she had to go somewhere else on her own to process it. “When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone.” (3). Louise locked herself in her room to be away from everyone else and reality. A person can only grieve so much. Facing an open window, Louise had a roomy armchair in her room. “Into this she sank, pressed down by physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.” (4). All of the feelings Louise had kept inside of her, made her exhausted. Louise sat alone, staring out of the
Thesis Statement: In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses imagery and symbolism to establish the theme, that it represents sanity and mental illness and the sense of entrapment, the notion of Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s creativity in her writing gone astray, and a disturbance that becomes an obsession.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Gilman uses the visual imagery of the narrator’s environment to emphasize the conditions of her isolation brought upon by her husband. The narrator is confined in an “atrocious nursery” (78) with “rings and things in the wall”, (77) an “immoveable…nailed down” bed (81) and “windows that look all ways” but are “barred for little children” (77). Despite her multiple objections, John refuses to change their bedroom and keeps her stationed where he pleases. The barred windows present evidence of deception as John refuses to let her clearly see outside the home where they are supposedly vacationing. The “nailed down bed” is a metaphor for her confinement to the house and John’s intention of keeping her there. Her inability
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, raises many questions from readers and makes us think about what has really caused the narrator to become insane in her story. Due to her husband’s controlling nature as a physician, there have been many moments where he treats her like a child that should be kept away from the outside world, which eventually drove her to insanity. She says, “dear John! He loves me very dearly, and hates to have me sick. I tried to have a real earnest reasonable talk with him the other day, and tell him how I wish he would let me go and make a visit to Cousin Henry and Julia. But he said I wasn’t able to go, nor able to stand it after I got there; and I did not make out a very good case for myself, for I was
Animals such as the caterpillar, frog, and dragonfly all undergo the transformation of metamorphosis where they transition to a new stage of life. In Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator, assumedly Jane, undergoes a unique metamorphosis and her transformation is symbolized by the yellow wallpaper within the short-story. Like a caterpillar, the narrator’s metamorphosis is spent mostly in isolation, a real life cocoon where the silk swaddles are traded for barred-windows and the transformation into a butterfly is Jane’s liberation from herself. The powerful symbolism depicted in the short-story has been criticized for numerous years, and K.V Rao’s analysis eloquently
The idea of marriage and what was considered an ideal union has drastically evolved. Marriage has only become an option in our civilization it’s no longer a social requirement, neither a priority for a female or male to get marry. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman illustrates a controlling and dysfunctional relationship that also relates to “The Story of an Hour” where Kate Chopin also reveals a dysfunctional and unhappy marriage. When paired together, both pieces of writing portrait the other side of marriage where everything is not just a happy ending and it’s shown as incarceration and loss of freedom. Also, both writing take place in the nineteenth century, a time period when marriage was considered the right thing to do