The Yellow Wallpaper Psychoanalytic Analysis

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Psychoanalytic reading of The Yellow Wallpaper In Charlotte Gilman's short story The Yellow Wallpaper, the speaker seems to be suffering from postpartum depression or "temporary nervous depression." (648). Accordingly, her husband makes the decision for her and takes her to a country house because he believes that it would be good for her. The narrator is not allowed to take care of her own child as she was imprisoned in her room where she should do nothing but "rest." In her childhood, the unnamed narrator has had a wild imagination which still haunts her: she admits "I do not sleep," and as a result she becomes restless.(653). Her imagination makes her live in an imagined world of her own and completely detached from reality. The …show more content…

However, it could also be analyzed from a psychoanalytic perspective. The unnamed narrator has many mental problems. First of all, according to Freud, the unconscious affects the conscious in the form of guilt. The narrator always has an overwhelming sense of guilt. For example, the narrator says "he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more." (648). The feeling of guilt intensifies more when she feels that she is "a comparative burden" when she was "meant to be such a help to" him. (649). She does not want "to make him uncomfortable." (649). Secondly, there is also a sense of confinement throughout the story. The Yellow Wallpaper fits the winter or the anti-romantic phase of Northrop Frye's monomyth diagram as it, "tells the story of imprisonment … and fear." (Bressler 152). The narrator is imprisoned in the room which has yellow wallpaper. Basically, the room where the narrator is staying in is like a prison. The "windows are barred" (648), and the unmovable bed "that is nailed down" add to her feeling of imprisonment. (650). Thirdly, the narrator suffers from oppression.

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