Reflection Of The Yellow Wallpaper

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During the nineteenth century, there were many stereotypes of what was expected from women. In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” Gilman composes the story of a woman who suffers from postpartum depression and finds and infatuation with a wall covered with yellow wallpaper. Seeing that Gilman herself has experienced this form of mental illness, we can analyze the context of the text and see the reflection of her own life through “The Yellow Wallpaper.” “The Yellow Wallpaper” begins with two characters, John and his wife, whose name is never revealed. The woman has recently had a baby and is showing signs of postpartum depression. John, her husband, who is a physician, tells their friends and family that she only has temporary nervous depression. John convinces their friends to believe the best course of action to heal his ailing wife is for her to go away for a period of time. He decides splitting his wife from their baby is what it will take to cure her depression. After separating his wife from their newborn child, John exiles his wife to the upstairs of their vacation home. Before leaving his wife John explains to her, she is not to write in her journal while upstairs in the house. Contrary to her husband’s wishes, she still writes…show more content…
She uses a slow and steady pace to release tidbits of metaphor that clue the reader to see the wallpaper as a symbol of male authority. The main character’s fascination with the ugly paper begins as an innocent annoyance, builds to a pastime, and crescendos to an obsession. The beauty of the story, however, is that this build-up is very subtle, and only after reflection and contemplation can the symbols of the wallpaper be seen. Indeed, the character in the story cannot recognize them herself. The struggle to see what is in the wallpaper is what motivates the reader to continue along with the story. (On Feminism and The Yellow
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