The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

677 Words3 Pages

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s work of fiction, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” published in 1892 is based on Gilman’s personal experiences after receiving a hysteric diagnosis, and a "rest cure" that prohibited her from writing. In the story, the narrator receives a similar diagnosis and treatment from physicians, John, and her brother. The narrator opens her confidential diary entry by praising the grandeur of the home and grounds her husband has rented for their summer vacation; however, this place soon shifts to the setting where we see the narrator begin to dissociate with reality. The narrator's gradual descent into psychosis is symbolized by her obsession with the yellow wallpaper, the women in the wallpaper, and her unconscious actions. The yellow …show more content…

John frequently mocks her when she "fancies." To control her conduct, John whisks her away to a country estate where she is confined to a room with barred windows, peeling yellow wallpaper, and a bedstead fastened to the floor, giving the room an impression of a penitentiary. Owing to the narrator's limited capacity for mental stimulation and social interaction, she’s been driven to use her imagination through the wallpaper, the one part of her life she has control over. As she seeks out human interaction, she begins to find heads behind imperceptible bars on the wallpaper. The narrator's psychosis worsens as she focuses her desire to escape the constraints in her life onto a figure 2 Pho hidden beneath the strangling pattern—a figure of a woman, "stooping down and crawling around," as she herself creeps about her restricted world. The narrator does not recognize the similarities between her imprisoned state and the life of the woman in the yellow wallpaper. Ultimately, the wallpaper is a symbol of confinement in the narrator's life, as she wants to “get that woman out.” Correspondingly, the narrator finds it difficult to believe that the situation the woman …show more content…

Eventually, the narrator's actions unconsciously reflect the woman on the wall, who represents her emotions. According to Freud, the unconscious mind is a repository of memories, desires, and thoughts that are hidden from our everyday consciousness. Jennie's curiosity about the paper “ruining everything it touched” and the yellow “smooches” on their clothing is interpreted by the narrator as cunning. However, she’s unaware that the yellow smooches are her own from creeping on the floor, much like the woman in the wallpaper. The old yellow wallpaper is frantically peeled off by the narrator, who is determined to release the woman. After getting freed from the wallpaper, she brought the rope to "tie her up," but she ended up tying herself to the rope. Via a self-fulfilling prophecy, the narrator's unconscious thoughts and behaviors molded her into the woman in the wallpaper. 3 Pho Although John gives his greatest efforts to be a good husband to his wife, he is

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