“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.
Eventually, we realize that the woman in the wallpaper is the narrator. Throughout the story, the narrator 's mental state continues to deteriorate. Being both the narrator 's husband and physician, John assumes that he knows what’s best for his wife. However, in this essay, I will argue that Gilman portrays John as an antagonist or “villain” in her story because, through his actions, he is the main reason for his wife 's descent into insanity which proves that he didn’t know what was best for his wife after all.
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
The narrator is certain that the ability to see is everything and puts no effort into seeing anything beyond the surface. The only way he can break free from this artificial world that he has isolated himself in if he lets down his guard and surrenders his jealousy and insecurity. The narrator is resentful of the connection that
The narrator begins to change as Robert taught him to see beyond the surface of looking. The narrator feels enlightened and opens up to a new world of vision and imagination. This brief experience has a long lasting effect on the narrator. Being able to shut out everything around us allows an individual the ability to become focused on their relationships, intrapersonal well-being, and
One of anonymous narrator’s best friends is introduced as Danny Saunders, a Jewish follower along with his father. Unlike Danny, anonymous narrator can enter the secular world while still retaining his Jewish identity. Throughout this novel, anonymous narrator goes through a great deal of growth. At the start of the novel, he accidentally gets his left eye hurt during a big baseball game. After a while, his actual physical sight is regained, but metaphorically, he turns “blind” after this incident.
The narrator’s eyes are closed and he is being led by a blind man, yet he is able to see. Carver never explains what it is the narrator sees, but there is the sense that he has found a connection and is no longer detached or isolated. The narrator is faced with a stark realization and glimmer of hope. Hope for new views, new life and probably even new identity. Even the narrator’s wife is surprised by the fact that her husband and Robert really get along together.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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. In the story, the narrator's better half adds to the generalization individuals put on the rationally sick as he confines his significant other from social circumstances and keeps her in an isolated house. The narrator it's made out to trust that something isn't right with her and is informed that she experiences some illness by her own significant other John.
It is evident that change is a natural component in the average person’s life. Some however, are more drastic than others. This is exhibited through the first-person narrator of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wall Paper”, who undergoes a drastic change in her health due to postpartum depression, her relationships with the individuals around her, and her isolation. These changes later develop an internal conflict in the form of a troubling identity plight.
In most interpretations of Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, it is usually deduced that John, the unnamed narrator’s husband in the short story, is a flat character that is used solely for plot advancement. This is most likely due to the combination of indirect discourse, an unreliable narrator, and the ambiguous ending that negatively impacts the reader’s opinion of him. But, if the reader views the short story as a tragedy, John plays a more impactful role in the story. By analyzing the story from an Aristotelian perspective of tragedy, John becomes Gilman’s unintentional tragic hero.