The Yellow Wallpaper Naturalism Analysis

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, exhibits the domestic entrapment of women by society in the 19th century by adopting a naturalistic approach to the mood, tone, and other literary elements used in the short story.
Naturalism is a genre of literature that started in the late nineteenth century, around the time “The Yellow Wallpaper” was published, and is originated from realism. According to, naturalism focuses on “natural forces predetermining a character’s decisions” while realism is about free will and the decisions a character makes in response to a situation. The major forces that control our unnamed narrator’s actions in “The Yellow Wallpaper” are her figurative and physical environment and her relationship with John.
There are multiple passages in the story that suggest that something about the colonial mansion is out of sorts. One moment stands out towards the end of the exposition of the story when the narrator summarizes how she feels
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This passage marks the first time the word creep is used in succession. Gilman’s excessive use of the word “creep” is ambiguous, even when considering the context of the story. In this passage, it seems as if the narrator is accepting the creepiness to see the figure in the wallpaper. The narrator isn’t creeped out (or unnerved) but she herself is not only creepy but is creeping so she doesn’t wake John. The moon is affecting her view of the wallpaper and is giving life to the woman inside of it. The last time in the story when natural light is mentioned (121), the narrator has personified the woman in the wallpaper to the point that she now becomes a doppelganger. states that “In some cultures, seeing one’s doppelganger is bad luck and is often a sign of serious illness or approaching death.” This foreshadows the narrator’s descent into madness due to the natural forces in her
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