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. As the story progresses it is palpable that the yellow wallpaper itself symbolizes mental illnesses. One reason the wallpaper symbolizes mental illness is because in the beginning of the story the narrator’s insanity is getting worse by her distress over the paper. The narrator of the story is the first person who is affected by the wallpaper, and just like mental illness in real life, the victim is the first person to be aware and affected by their condition. One of the things disturbing the narrator at first were the shapes of the paper and how they became more evident as the days past.“There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.
Because of Pearl, Hester has no chance at a happy life, but Pearl brings her happiness. Pearl is almost like a paradox. This role of her being an antagonistic protagonist creates a paradox within the already complex and unusual child. The symbol of Pearl plays an important part in the novel The Scarlet Letter. She is a reminder of her mother 's sin and antagonist toward Hester, as well.
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.
Thus, the bars in the narrator’s window serve as a gothic symbol for the relationship the narrator has with her husband because of the way in which they both restrict her independence and power. This symbolism reveals Gilman’s critique of patriarchal society, as she draws attention to the confinement of women in society through the physical confinement of the narrator. This suggests that Gilman condemns the way in which patriarchal society limits the independence and authority of woman at this time. Furthermore, the narrator observes that “John is away all day, and even some nights” (Gilman 1686). This displays that John does not understand the challenges the narrator faces because of her confinement and he simply assumes that he knows what is best for her.
On the other side in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, from 1916, we see a similar lack of respect towards women. Although these stories are different, there is still evidence of women going against the social norms. When one becomes confined to solitary oftentimes the brain will entertain itself within the environment it finds itself. Locked away in an attic nursery we see Gilman’s narrator occupying herself with the wallpaper. In the beginning of The Yellow Wall-Paper the narrator see’s that her husband believes she is hysterical for a term; whereas, she believed there was something wrong (Gilman 486).
Throughout the generation, women have always been trapped in some way or another. In the short story, ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ and the novel ‘The Awakening’ highlights the struggle of women in the late 1800’s and the early 1900s in society. The Yellow wallpaper is a short story about women giving birth and being imprisoned in a room with a weird view of the yellow wall-paper. This resulted in her hallucination lead to the development of mental illness. By the end of the story, she rips off the yellow wallpaper and kills her husband.
While the narrator was sitting in her room she states, “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over” (Gilman). Strictly speaking, the narrators intellectual lack of activity caused her to see a woman trapped within the wallpaper. The point of view within the short story gives us a better view on what the narrator had to go through. “Years later, Gilman claimed the story reflected her own experience under the care of Philadelphia neurologist, S. Weir Mitchell, in 1887, and that the story’s purpose was to spare others from such treatment” (Bittel). Therefore, using the first person point of view in present tense shows the deep emotional and mental state of her life.
The Struggle of Many Women The story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Stetson, reflects the life of many women during the difficult times they were living in. The narrator can relate to many people during the Victorian age where the woman’s role was to be a wife and a mother only. The narrator is a woman who is imaginative and is dissociated from herself and from the world. The narrator is a woman who is imaginative trying to make her mind think and realize the meaning of the yellow wallpaper. She describes the wallpaper as, “repellant, almost revolting; smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow turning sunlight” (Gilman 641).
Jane begins her “pilgrim” to attain maturity by solving problems she was confronting. as she was not a “contented, happy, little child” she was alienated from the “normal “society by excluding from a drawing room of Mrs. reed. Cruelly treated by john reed, without any fault, when she was imprisoned to red room she feels herself a “trifle” and “out of myself” and “like any other rebel slave” she “felt resolved…to go all lengths” to write her own self for herself. In red room when she gazes into a “great looking glass” and finds an image floating she cannot recognize the image as a part of herself but some alien or more disturbing force that compels her to plan an escape “through flight, starvation or madness”. (Sandra M. 477) red room incident is very much important because the foundation of her life journey was laid on this incident and the same incident has the following variations like one in loowood school when she was alienated and was punished by mr brockulhurst for being lier and the third in thorn field when she feels entrapped out of herself and she struggles to escape to meet her real self .
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 literarydevices.net, 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.
Because the story was written in the late 1800’s, we can draw the conclusion that the gender roles were similar to that of the author’s time period. Similar to that of historical gender views, women in the story are expected to find fulfillment in the home, while the men hold positions as high-ranking as physicians. The narrator’s lack of a name also reinforces the notion that she is speaking as the voice of women collectively, rather than as an individual. There are many themes present in "The Yellow Wallpaper" depending on one 's own interpretation of the work. However, perhaps the most prevalent themes in the story is a woman 's personal fight for freedom within the confines of a Victorian mentality.