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. Right …show more content…
The vast majority of people wouldn’t give the wallpaper much thought, however the narrator becomes obsessed with it. To the narrator, the wallpaper is alive and becomes the focus of all her time. Her overwhelming lure to the wallpaper becomes obvious when she first provides a very vivid description stating “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions” (217-218). As she begins to lose her grip on reality, the narrator beings to see faces and eventually a woman within the wallpaper. At first, her description of seeing faces in the wallpaper seems like it could be her mind making since of the varying patterns or just part of her imagination. However as time moves on, and the woman in the wallpaper becomes more and more real to her, it’s clear that her mental state is rapidly depleting. Her first description of a figure in the wallpaper came when she stated that the wallpaper had a “recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down” (219). By the time the story ends, the narrator had turned into the …show more content…
Everything from how her interactions with her family to her perception of her environment and how it evolves throughout the story allow the reader to almost feel what the narrator is feeling as the moves through the story. In the beginning, the only reason the reader knows there may be something wrong with the narrator is because she comes right out and says she may be ill, even though her husband didn’t believe she was (216). As the story moves on, it becomes clear that her illness is not one of a physical nature, but of an emotional or mental one. By telling the story in the narrator’s point of view, the reader can really dive into her mind and almost feel what she’s feeling. How she describes her surroundings and her interactions with her family evolves as her condition worsens. By the end, the reader can truly see just how far gone the narrator has gone. The narrator’s fixation on the yellow wallpaper had gone from a slight obsession to full mental breakdown. 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
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I don’t like it a bit. I wonder— I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!” (231). Shortly after the narrator who remains unnamed and her husband John rented an old mansion, the narrator encountered a state of delusion in the wallpaper that surrounded her. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator develops a peculiar relationship with the wallpaper; the author’s use of allusion, symbolism, and personification identifies the existence of the woman’s illness.
The dominant point of view in the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” Is told by a first person. She tells her story from a closed room, so that she can receive the “rest cure” treatment for her nervous condition and depression. She is the major character in the story. She writes in her journal everyday about her situation. The first person focuses on her owns thoughts and feelings hoping she can overcome her mental state.
The woman the narrator spots appears to be trapped within a bar like pattern of the wallpaper, as she moves the pattern she tries to break free. It could be argued that, the woman is a symbol of femininity. As the narrators insanity deepens, she believes she is trapped within the wallpaper too. Unable to break free from the wallpaper, like the narrator, the woman in the wallpaper has only the stereotypical option of taking the role as a wife or mother.
As this progresses, the woman starts to go mad from ignorance and starts to believe there is someone behind the Wallpaper. In her room, the narrator starts to obsess over the Wallpaper. The Wallpaper symbolizes women starting to realize how unfair they were treated and how responded to this. As the women’s illness keeps getting subdued by her husband, she starts to go mad and the wallpaper demonstrates this. In the third entry of her diary she says, “Of
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story told through diary entries of a woman who suffers from postpartum depression. The narrator, whose name is never mentioned, becomes obsessed with the ugly yellow wallpaper in the summer home her husband rented for them. While at the home the Narrator studies the wallpaper and starts to believe there is a woman in the wallpaper. Her obsession with the wallpaper slowly makes her mental state deteriorate. Throughout The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses many literary devices such as symbolism, personification and imagery to help convey her message and get it across to the reader.
“Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!”(Gilman 244). The narrator describes herself becoming part of an inanimate object and escaping her confinement. When she becomes depressed after giving birth to her child, the narrator has strict orders to follow in order to “make her better.” As she follows the doctor’s commands and isolates herself from everyone and everything she loved, she loses her mental stability.
Secondly, throughout the story, the narrator describes seeing an evolving woman trapped inside of the wall. Although readers can assume that this woman is merely a product of the narrator’s mind, the woman can also be seen as a symbol of the narrator and her feelings of being trapped. Eventually, the woman in the wall aids the narrator in her escape. In conclusion, many elements of the narrator’s increasing madness throughout The Yellow Wallpaper contributed to her freedom from the confines of the room, the confines of society, and the confines of her
Initially, the narrator is disgusted and irritated by the paper, claiming, “I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (339). This reaction mirrors that of a sane person’s--fearing the unknown, they distance themselves from insanity and any iteration of it, seeing it as grotesque and shameful. Yet, as she spends more time in the room, she grows interested in the wallpaper and begins to investigate. She comes to the conclusion that: “I didn 't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman” (346).
The narrator is certain she is really sick, and not just nervously depressed as diagnosed by her husband, but she is confined by her role as a wife and woman, and cannot convince her relatives and friends that something is actually wrong with her. In the story the narrator says, “”If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the
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
At night, her intense observation of the paper seems to change her very personality. She watches it as the patterns come to life to form the bars of her postpartum and her longing to be liberated. Darkness has the power to release the mask disguising human nature. In the story of "The Yellow Wallpaper", the main character is trapped by her sickness, constantly feeling as though she has no power to change the course of her life.
(678) in this statement she is challenging herself and this shows the reader she is facing some confusion. The yellow wallpaper in the main characters (the narrator) bedroom is a major point in the story. The yellow wallpaper plays a major role in the woman’s insanity. The woman’s obsession with the wallpaper creates her problem and affects her mind and judgment. This is shown in, “It dwells on my mind so!”
She becomes obsessed with the patterns of the wallpaper, but she mainly notices a woman that she thinks is trying to free herself from the confines of the wall. During the day this woman is still, but when night time comes around, it seems as though the woman creeps around. Towards the end of the story, the narrator has a breakdown and thinks that she is this woman inside of the wallpaper, and begins to perform similar actions like creeping around. This meaning of this scene is simple cause and effect. Not only did she already have postpartum depression, but she is basically trapped in this house for a whole summer with nothing to do so she can heal.
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
Nonetheless, the narrator continues to pen her ideas about the wallpaper as it transpired from being perplexing to gaining clarity each day. Amidst arriving at a full conclusion of what the wallpaper depicts, the narrator says she sees “a woman stooping down and creeping about behind the pattern” (Perkins Gilman, 50). As the days passed,