"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a story published in 1892 in the United States, was not well received by the critics of the time because of the subject matter. The indifference to the text is a product of the social constructs of the time, in which the feminist critique of hegemonic masculinity was far from finding the echo it would have in later ages. A woman who suffers from nervous depression spells out Gilman’s story in the first-person perspective. The cure to which she is subjected and the enmity, gradually lead her to interfere in the labyrinths of madness. These aspects reflect patriarchal oppression not only in the domestic environment, but also in the practices of the medical community for the treatment of diseases …show more content…
He forbids her to write but she does it secretly, in a kind of diary, a private and hidden place where she expresses her ideas, fears, and thoughts. The room that John chooses for his wife is a reflection of this hidden desire. She wants the bedroom on the first floor, but she agreed to be in a room with yellow wallpaper. In this sense, the yellow wallpaper could be interpreted as a projection of the narrator, who from the first pages reveals her desire and need to write, but also makes us accomplices of her activity as a writer in hiding. In addition, she does not only reveal her health condition but also her repression as a writer, a profession that, even in the nineteenth century, was viewed with distrust. The narrator reflects on the politics of separate spheres, as she questions her husband’s …show more content…
In this situation, the author produces a story that criticizes patriarchal ideas of the time in relation to femininity. In this story, the narrator faces with the impossibility of escaping by more rational physical pathways. Madness allows the narrator to escape from social and family control and to transgress all established norms. The narrator is frustrated when she realizes that her husband, a physician, does not recognize her state as a mental problem that needs to be worked on. By escaping from the conventions, the narrator frees herself from the schedules, and control of the guardians who guarded all her actions. It is true that the new situation isolates her from the others, but it assumes herself as a free autonomous subject. Now, it is she who decides not to leave the room and live in otherness. Insanity gives her on a certain inner level the possibility of escaping from traditional social constructions. Madness will be the factor that isolates her from society and at the same time will allow her to be free from the conventions and mandates of patriarchal society. Finally, she overcomes the patriarchal barriers which John represents as husband, doctor and a male, and thus reaffirms her identity as author and woman. In conclusion, “The Yellow Wallpaper” represents both a
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In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates, both female protagonists are faced with opposing male forces that seek to control, undermine and take advantage of them. However, in the midst of the challenges and subordination they face from these dominant male figures, each protagonists independence is tested as they both strive to overcome these forces. Connie, the protagonist in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” is a 15 year old, narcissistic teenage girl, searching for independence through her sexuality as she enters into the realm of adulthood. “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home,” (Oates, 1).
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
Her descriptions of the room, with the furniture seemingly being nailed to the floor and the windows being “barred” show an underlying understanding that her thoughts and personality is being confined. The irony present in this description, due to her belief that the room used to be a nursery, shows her early denial of her husband’s dominance over her. As the story progresses and she begins to see the woman behind the wallpaper, the reader is exposed to the narrator’s realization that she is the one that is actually being suppressed. The descriptions of the wallpaper, showing how confining it is for the symbolic woman behind it, shows how the narrator is being trapped by those bars in both her marriage and in her mental illness. Thus when she says, “At night in any kind of light… it becomes bars,” the reader is shown how restricted the narrator feels, reflected through the wallpaper.
(678) in this statement she is challenging herself and this shows the reader she is facing some confusion. The yellow wallpaper in the main characters (the narrator) bedroom is a major point in the story. The yellow wallpaper plays a major role in the woman’s insanity. The woman’s obsession with the wallpaper creates her problem and affects her mind and judgment. This is shown in, “It dwells on my mind so!”
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
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.
Oppression is defined as prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. Cruel and unjust punishment is just the beginning for the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Charlotte Gilman while writing the “The Yellow Wallpaper” deciding to make it into a series of diary entries from a woman who is suffering from post-partum depression. The narrator begins by describing this large home that she and her husband have rented for the summer. Their summer house stands away from the road and contains many locks and little houses.
The narrator leads a fairly boring life. The only thing she seems to do all day is sleep, write, eat, look out the window and study the yellow wallpaper in her room. Evidence of this in the story is “I lie here on this great immovable bed - it is nailed down, I believe - and follow that pattern about by the hour” (Gilman 650). Another piece of evidence would be, “The color is repellant, almost revolting ; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others” (Gilman 649).
A Husband’s Control: Women Must Defer to Her Husband in All Matters of Marriage and Obedience As the narrator introduces her story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the reader goes back in where a women is considered fragile in her mind and naïve to the world around them. The narrative depicts a woman’s strife while personally suffering “nervous depression” (376) and how such a malady happened to be treated by her attending physician, whom is also her husband by the name of John. In 1899, polite society dictated and observed propriety at all times therefore, wives and unmarried ladies were expected to defer to their husband or the oldest living male family member within the residence.
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.
Firstly, the story is a journal that the narrator is writing while being treated with the rest cure, which she keeps a secret from her husband, sister and others who come to visit her. As the journal progresses, the narrator’s writing demonstrates her fall to insanity. In the beginning, the narrator sees her journal is an adequate method of escape from her illness and her situation. As the narrator’s mind grows more and more crazed, she develops an urge to physically escape from the room that she is isolated in, which occurs at the end of the story. The narrator’s journaling was simply a small step that contributed to her ultimate freedom.
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 repressed self is released out by detaching from reality. This detachment allows her to be free from social norms as her madness now allows her to no longer conform to cultural bounds. Her final protest, thus, comes out in the form of insanity. She can now escape from the cage of her husband by refusing to accept her identity as a repressed woman. This text thus brings to focus the dark theme that cultural and social expectations of women are so rigid that the protagonist has to give up her identity as a sane woman to finally achieve the freedom she is denied through
Especially, for the sake of her health, she cannot read or write, which is the favorite thing of her, even she thinks that reading and writing is helpful to her health, but her husband forbids it. The yellow wallpaper of this room so attracted her that she becomes insane at last. In this book, Gilman mostly illustrate how the woman’s lack of freedom both in their mental and emotional in the patriarchal society. The husband in the book is a doctor, but he cannot treat his wife, even make her insane by his fault rest cure treatment. As for the heroine, the wife in the book, maybe become insane is also a
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.