The Yellow Wallpaper Point Of View Analysis

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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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