“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.
Gender Inequality: A Woman’s Struggle in “The Yellow Wallpaper” In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman captures the lives of women in a society based on societal expectations during the late nineteenth century. She focuses on the issue of gender inequality where women were often discriminated against and expected to fulfill the role of a perfect wife and mother. The narrator is based on on Gilman’s personal experience of suffering from her treatment for postpartum depression due to the social restrictions on women which represents a reflection on women's social status in society. The narrator, who remains anonymous, is depicted as a depressed and isolated prisoner who is oppressed under her husband’s control and struggles to break free.
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.
“And women should stand beside man as the comrade of his soul, not the servant of his body” (Direct 1). In the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a wife and mother, faces postpartum depression and, treatment that is unfit for her by her husband. The resting cure increases her psychological behavior causing her to hallucinate. The women lose all form of self-awareness and is expected to conform to what is expected of her in the 19th century. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman demonstrates the issues women faced during 1892 using theme, point of view, and symbolism.
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.”
Charlotte Gilman’s short story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, (1899) is a text that describes how suppression of women and their confinement in domestic sphere leads to descend into insanity for escape. The story is written as diary entries of the protagonist, who is living with her husband in an old mansion for the summer. The protagonist, who remains unnamed, is suffering from post-partum depression after the birth of her child and is on ‘rest’ cure by her physician husband. In this paper, I will try to prove that ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ acts as a subversive text by portraying the protagonist’s “descent into madness” as a result of the suppression that women faced in Victorian period.
At first it is seen as nothing but an old ruined wallpaper with a “bad” pattern. As the story progresses she stares at the paper for hours and sees a sub-pattern behind the main pattern, visible only in certain light. She hen sees a desperate woman trying to leave the wallpaper which shows how the women feel trapped. The author uses the yellow wallpaper as a symbol of the oppressive life that many women have today and back then.
Passage Analysis #1 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” Gilman, in this particular passage of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” explores the theme of female oppression through imagery and symbolism of the wall-paper. These elements of literature make the wall-paper come to life for both the narrator and the audience. “The front pattern does move”(55) personifies the wall-paper to be so animate and physically restraining that the woman behind it must shake it to attempt to escape. The italicization of “does” serves to further affirm that the wallpaper exhibits restrictive human-like behaviors - particularly those of dominant men in society. The narrator states that there are “a great many woman behind”(55), extending the metaphor to all Victorian women in the United States and others around the world who are oppressed.
The house is in a super-isolated place. The house represents the narrator 's personal emotions; restricted and isolation. In the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the symbolism of the the wallpaper and the diary demonstrate the psychological difficulties, that were caused by being disrespected and thought less of, during the 19th century for women across the United States. In the “Yellow Wallpaper”, the woman 's husband John neglects her symptoms of postpartum and says she has a slight hysterical tendency.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a first-person written feminist short story that critiques and condemns the nineteenth-century American male attitude towards women and their physical as well as mental health issues. In the short story, Perkins Gilman juxtaposes universal gender perspectives of women with hysterical tendencies using the effects of gradually accumulating levels of solitary confinement; a haunted house, nursery, and the yellow wallpaper to highlight the American culture of inherited oblivious misogyny and promote the equality of sexes. The narrator and her husband, John, embody the general man and woman of the nineteenth century. John, like the narrator’s brother and most men, is “a physician of high
The yellow wallpaper is not just the dreadful décor the narrator is stuck within the story but the most important symbol in the story. It symbolizes how women were not allowed to change or free to make their own decisions. The narrator once said that the wallpaper "sticks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it" (Gilman). She felt like the wallpaper stuck and not able to succumb to change she demonstrates this as well when she says "The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out" (Gilman). The narrator herself became the women she saw in the wallpaper that she felt trapped in a life without change which manifested itself into the wallpaper further increasing the symbolism and importance of yellow wallpaper.
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.
Throughout the generation, women have always been trapped in some way or another. In the short story, ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ and the novel ‘The Awakening’ highlights the struggle of women in the late 1800’s and the early 1900s in society. The Yellow wallpaper is a short story about women giving birth and being imprisoned in a room with a weird view of the yellow wall-paper. This resulted in her hallucination lead to the development of mental illness. By the end of the story, she rips off the yellow wallpaper and kills her husband.