The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story set in the 1890s about a female narrator who struggles with postpartum depression. She moves into a home for the summer with her husband, John. Since she has this sickness, John forbids her from doing any sort of activities other than some houes work. If she was doing anything, her husband would want her to rest to help with her illness. This was a common "cure" known at the rest cure back then.
Gilman also highlights a lack of identity of the narrator through the setting of the novella which reflects the narrator’s societal confinement. The protagonist is surrounded by “hedges and walls and gates that lock”, which create a sense of separation that the narrator feels from others and the outside world. In addition, the room in which she is confined contains a “heavy bedstead, and… barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs, and so on”. These physical and ‘prison-like’ restrictions imposed on the protagonist clearly demonstrate her lack of freedom. Additionally, Gilman’s use of syndetic listing to describe the narrator’s physical entrapment is perhaps reflective of her feelings of suffocation and her inability to escape as the list feels never ending.
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.
With walls covered in shredded wallpaper, the nursery Gilman describes is far from being appealing. “The wallpaper, as I said before, is torn off in spots… Then the floor is scratched and gouged and splintered, the plaster itself is dug out here and there, and this great heavy bed which is all we found in the room, looks as if it had been through the wars.” (Gilman 320) Confined in a room that only has an old bed and desk, Jane has little to do other than write, and fantasize about the images that she begins to see in the wallpaper. By providing minimalistic furniture, Gilman adds to the overall setting of isolation. Not only is Jane cutoff from society, but bars on the windows prevent her physical escape. Gilman notes this key feature in order to show how the narrator can look upon the outside world, but yet not fully participate.
Symbolism Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper One might know that Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” uses the wallpaper in the main character’s room as a symbol for a bigger underlying meaning. This is a short story about a young women diagnosed of depression and “a slight hysterical tendency”. In hopes of healing the narrator, her husband moves them into an old, ornate home for the summer and required her to refrain from any activity to calm her mind. However, instead of getting better, the narrator goes into a deeper level of madness. This madness is caused by her obsession over what she believes is animate patterns and a trapped women in a peeling, aged wallpaper in her room.
“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.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Gilman critiques the restrictive nature of patriarchal society through the bars in the female narrator’s bedroom window that represent her relationship with her husband. As the narrator’s mental health deteriorates near the end of the story, she recognizes that the bars on her window physically confine her to her room. She states that “To jump out of the window would be admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong even to try” (Gilman 1694). Thus, Gilman clearly reveals to the reader that the narrator desires freedom but is kept in her room by the bars on her window. These bars directly relate to the narrator’s relationship with her husband, John.
While this woman was locked away, she experienced different characteristics that people could say resemble an animal. The woman starts to notice that someone has been biting her bed. What she does not realize is that she has been biting the bed and so has the woman in the wallpaper. Both of the women creep around as a lion would do right before they attack their prey. This shows that her hallucinations are insanity symptoms and making her see this other woman resembling herself.
Baby encounter rejection and stigma from her father, authority figures and classmates which bestow upon her little self-worth. O’Neill (2006) “I couldn’t plead for any rights because I didn’t have any.” (p. 72). • Society feared her sadness and teachers and social workers perpetuated the notion that she is a troubled kid. Baby said: “they are afraid of my sadness” (O’Neill, 2006, p.128). • Baby is unwelcomed at Xavier’s house after a school teacher informed his parents that, Baby is a troubled child from a broken home.
Finally, at the end of the story she has completely lost her sense of self and her obsession with the yellow wallpaper overpowers her. Over the course of the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman shows the effects that postpartum depression can have on one’s life. In the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman progressively illustrates how mental illness can lead to insanity if it is not treated properly. When the narrator and her husband, John, first arrive at their summer home, she knows better than anyone else what is best for her condition but she lets her opinions be completely
Another thing that led the narrator close to insanity was basically being isolated in the house. She spoke many times about wanting to see cousin Henry and Julia but John said he would only let her see them when she gets well and anytime before that he would rather "put fireworks in her pillowcase" than let her see those "stimulating people." After awhile she thought it was "discouraging not to have any advice and companionship." John spent most of his time in town because of serious cases and Jennie let her be alone when ever she wanted to be. When she was alone she said she would always cry I 've nothing and started to imagine things is the wallpaper.
Isolation is a dangerous thing. It can push us into thinking very pessimistically, which can lead us into doing harmful actions. As Miguel de Unamuno once said, “isolation is the worst possible counselor.” In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper the narrator is portrayed as psychotic as a result of solidarity; this shows us the dangerous effects of complete isolation. Women with mental illnesses in the 1800s were not taken very seriously. They were often told to get some rest, and they would be fine.
Edna has found her new found freedom by moving out of her big house she shared with her husband into a smaller house for herself. She is still trapped by her feeling s for Robert. He comes to visit her for the last time; Edna leaves Robert at her house and told him to wait for her. When she got back, Robert wasn’t there and left her a note, “I love you. Good-by –because I love you.” (Chopin, p148) which caused Edna to commit suicide because she realized she was not happy without her kids and society wouldn’t accept her because she left her husband.
Though Jennie, John 's sister, has accompanied the couple, Jane, spends most of her time alone while her husband is away tending to patients. During the three month stay at the mansion, Jane constantly debates her inner thoughts; the need to be the woman she was expected to be, versus having the freedom she longs for. Jane begins to hallucinate about a woman trapped behind the yellow wallpaper that covers the walls of her room and subsequently has a mental breakdown. One can conclude, that the cause of Jane’s breakdown was the oppression she suffered at the hands of her husband.
This states another good example of cruelty to women because back then women were not allowed to work they were expected to stay home and clean all day and raise there kids. Lastly, In the story her husband never lets her talk about house she feels, so she keeps it all bottled up in her head which eventually drives her crazy. As “The Yellow Wallpaper” States “It 's hard to talk to john about my case, because he loves me so. But I tried to last night” (777 Gilman). This show another great example of women cruelty because back then women were not allowed to state there own opinion and also