The main character from “The Yellow Wallpaper” expresses throughout the story how she wishes to break free from all that is holding her back and live the life she has always wanted.
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.
It becomes hard to recognize her as the story progresses, sleepwalking through the castle and constantly rubbing her hands as she attempts to remove the innocent blood shed on her hands driven by her guilt-ridden mind. Lady Macbeth is unable to surpass the evil she has set on herself and in the end; the guilt she prayed against became her worst enemies. She was beyond repair and it lead to her suicide. Furthermore, in the yellow wallpaper the protagonist becomes mentally ill for being locked in a room deprived of life. The majority of the story takes place in a room which only induces pain deep within herself evoking negative mental thoughts. 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. 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
In addition to physical descriptions, a sense of identity can be established through the delivery of relationships with others, and moral beliefs. In The Yellow Wallpaper, the interplay of characters plays a key role in defining the narrator’s identity through the imbalance of power in her marriage with John. Gilman arguably presents the narrator’s descent into madness through her inability to create a new identity counter to John’s entrapment of her. At the beginning of the novella, the protagonist is able to recognise that more
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.
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. “The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out” (Gilman 652). The narrator can see a person, the person can be representing herself. She feels trapped and may be losing her mind. She can see woman trapped behind the wall and not be able to escape from it. The narrator describes it in detail that it seems like she is talking about herself going through all this emotionally and physically.
Humans are and will always be social creatures, they like to stay in groups, chat with others, and socialize with other humans and some might even say that it is necessary for survival. So knowing this, the greatest dilemma one could face would be the separation and social outcasting of themselves from the group. Isolation can be very impactful and dangerous for one’s self, for a glimpse of its consequences authors write tales of separation and isolation which the reader can soak in and understand its potential. Crace Chua and F. Scott Fitzgerald are two examples of authors who shared stories of social dissolution in The Great Gatsby and “(love song, with two goldfish)”. This theme of isolation and separation affect many aspects of a story but the characters and various conflicts are truely altered and somehow brought to life when real human nature is tested and denied.
The “Yellow Wallpaper” is a iconic short story written by Charlotte Perkins, a famous feminist author. The novel takes place the 19th century and deals with the issue of how women dealt with mental health issues, specifically postpartum depression. Back in the 19th century the way physicians dealt with women 's mental health was much different then it is today, back then they believed that the cure for depression was solvable by isolation and rest. As a result many women suffering from postpartum depression were forced into isolation which only made their situation worse. Jane; the narrator of the short story, is one of these woman forced into the rest treatment by her physician husband. It 's here where she discovers the yellow wallpaper that leads to her mental demise. What is the symbolic meaning of the yellow wallpaper and how do her interactions with the wallpaper represent the change in her feelings towards her husband and society. The yellow wallpaper symbolizes women 's suffrage and the struggles women went through, and her interactions with the wallpaper represent the problems woman had with their husbands and society.
Being a woman in the early twentieth century, she simply followed what her husband told her. She did not have her own voice and kept her thoughts to herself. With that being said, it is as if her identity is simply that of the average woman during her time. However, the days she spends in confinement go by, the identity of that woman drifts away and she is overtaken by the identity of her own mental illness. As said in Diana Martin’s journal on “Images in Psychiatry”, while the narrator in isolation she becomes “increasingly despondent and nervous”. 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. However, we later see a shift in her feelings towards the wallpaper as she states that she is growing “really fond of the room in spite of the wallpaper” and comes to a realization that it may be “because of the wallpaper” (Par 94) As her opinions on the wallpaper begin to change, the progression of her mental instability becomes increasing visible. She begins to build a relationship with the wallpaper and claims that “There are things in that paper that nobody knows about” (Par 22) her. As this relationship with the wallpaper builds, her sanity begins to slip, and the hallucinations begin in a somewhat minor manor. In her first mention of “the woman” she says that the pattern on the
The narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a major and dynamic character as she is the main character of the story, and throughout the story her personality and ways of thinking change drastically. In the beginning of the story, the narrator is tired, yet
As it is with most good stories, the presence of strong symbolism and detailed settings is a very important aspect of the story that helps to draw the reader into the story. However, in stories such as “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator’s point of view is what truly helps define the setting and symbolism. Without the narrator’s distinct point of view on how she
The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” deals with inner turmoil as well as fighting the patriarchal system she lives in, because her husband tells everyone “that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression-- a slight hysterical tendency” (64). Society is represented through her husband. Everyone believes there is nothing wrong, which leads to her inner turmoil that causes her to hallucinate and fight to get out of her mind and the oppressive society she lives in. In contrast, Aunt Jennifer submits to the system and escapes through the creation of her tigers. According to Smith, the problem is that “the tigers that she created were her only means of escaping the oppression, but she died oppressed” (73). In both cases, neither woman is able to truly escape and become free from the oppressive situation they are
Throughout short fiction, Charlotte Gilman is most famously noted for her ability to create strong gothic themes in her writing. This is especially true in her 1890s story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Overall, an important theme in Charlotte Gilman short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is that when combined, isolation and oppression often lead to negative consequences such as insanity and mental instability. Gilman achieves this through her thorough use of symbolism and settings that helps to highlight and establish the overall theme.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” tells the story of a young woman who is battling severe depression. The protagonist is essentially locked away for the summer as a cure for her psychological disorder(s) (Craig 36). Being locked in the house with the yellow wallpaper worsens her mental state and eventually drives her to insanity. Throughout the course of the story, the protagonist’s mental state noticeably declines; she claims there are people in the wallpaper and believes it is haunting her. Several Gothic themes are scattered throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper”; however, the protagonist’s isolation, the presence of insanity, and the occurring idea of supernatural elements are most prominent and can be used to justify “The Yellow