She described the wallpaper as, “the color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight,” (227). The color yellow tends to represent the sun and can be interpreted as happiness, positivity, and joy; although, the narrator says that it is an unclean yellow that made her feel sick. This analogy implies that the narrator is in a position where she is ill but is not getting the help she desperately needs. The narrator goes on to say, “No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long,” (227). The wallpaper represents how the narrator feels on the inside. She feels trapped, afraid, and alone from everyone-including her husband,
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the female narrator is greatly troubled by the suppression of her imagination by her husband and her ultimate isolation due to this subordination. These feelings are reflected through the author’s use of setting as the narrator’s dreary and malicious descriptions of the house and the wallpaper mirrors her emotional position.
The narrator leads a fairly boring life. The only thing she seems to do all day is sleep, write, eat, look out the window and study the yellow wallpaper in her room. Evidence of this in the story is “I lie here on this great immovable bed - it is nailed down, I believe - and follow that pattern about by the hour” (Gilman 650). Another piece of evidence would be, “The color is repellant, almost revolting ; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others” (Gilman 649). The next symbol is the
In The Yellow Wallpaper written in 1894, Gilman portrays the protagonist as a victim of oppression. Oppression is defined as being heavily burdened mentally or physically by troubles or adverse conditions. Oppression is also a form of authority over someone who is in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. During the 1800’s women were subject to strict laws of society which prevented them from many civil rights and opportunities. The narrator feels oppressed by her relationship with her husband, her house, and the wallpaper.
The “Yellow Wallpaper” is a iconic short story written by Charlotte Perkins, a famous feminist author. The novel takes place the 19th century and deals with the issue of how women dealt with mental health issues, specifically postpartum depression. Back in the 19th century the way physicians dealt with women 's mental health was much different then it is today, back then they believed that the cure for depression was solvable by isolation and rest. As a result many women suffering from postpartum depression were forced into isolation which only made their situation worse. Jane; the narrator of the short story, is one of these woman forced into the rest treatment by her physician husband. It 's here where she discovers the yellow wallpaper that leads to her mental demise. What is the symbolic meaning of the yellow wallpaper and how do her interactions with the wallpaper represent the change in her feelings towards her husband and society. The yellow wallpaper symbolizes women 's suffrage and the struggles women went through, and her interactions with the wallpaper represent the problems woman had with their husbands and society.
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin and the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson
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
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator is suffering from postpartum depression. The narrator 's husband John, who also happens to be her physician, prescribes the rest cure to help lift his wife of her depressive state and ultimately heal her depression. However, the rest cure does not allow the narrator to experience any mental stimulation. Therefore, to manage her boredom the narrator begins obsessing over the pattern of the yellow wallpaper. After analyzing the pattern for awhile, the narrator witnesses a woman trapped behind bars. Eventually, we realize that the woman in the wallpaper is the narrator. Throughout the story, the narrator 's mental state continues to deteriorate. Being both the narrator 's husband and physician, John assumes that he knows what’s best for his wife. However, in this essay, I will argue that Gilman portrays John as an antagonist or “villain” in her story because, through his actions, he is the main reason for his wife 's descent into insanity which proves that he didn’t know what was best for his wife after all. Therefore, John represents the bars of the wallpaper which confines the woman and doesn 't allow her to be free.
The protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper anthropomorphizes the floral elements of the yellow wallpaper, wherein wallpaper is typically a feminine floral decoration on wall interiors. These elements signify the scrutiny Victorian society makes of lives of its womenfolk, particularly of women who are creative and insubordinate to their spouses. The protagonist is one such woman; her writing denounces her imaginative character and the surreptitious persistence of her writing denounces her matrimonial and feminine disobedience which were considered radical in her contemporary society. Gilman expresses the suppression felt by women from societal scrutiny to be one of “strangling”, through the narrator, who in one instance describes the wallpaper pattern like so: “it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads… the pattern strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their eyes white!” Her anthropomorphizing of the pattern of the wallpaper adopts a grimmer facet when she writes that “when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide.” It is also significant to note that the narrator describes the pattern as suicidal because it again emphasizes the narrator’s desperate, almost suicidal, need to flee the imprisonment of the nursery and from the oppressive, male-dominant society that the room and its wallpaper represent. Asides of the pattern, there are many probable connotations of the yellow colour of the wallpaper, for instance with jaundiced illness, and also the rigid oppression of masculine sun. While sickness can be associated with the colour yellow, its more established motif would seem be the conflict between the masculine sun and the feminine moon. In Gilman’s story, sunlight is linked with John’s
Examine how either text represents either class or gender. Are these representations problematic or contradictory? How do they relate to the plot and structure of the novel?
“If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there really is nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency- what is one to do?” (Gilman 317) Confined in the upstairs bedroom, left to just her thoughts and shreds of grotesque yet enchanting wallpaper, Jane begins to slip into a downward spiral of insanity and depression. Gilman in turn uses this setting of the dilapidated nursery in order to express the extent of solitude Jane experiences when left alone that leads to her mental instability. Not only is Jane separated from the main floor of the house, the home is located in the country, miles from any town or society. Gilman does this in order to express the lack of social interaction Jane experiences in general, and on a regular basis. 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. Through the use of setting, Gilman directly shows the effect of janes seclusion that eventually leads to her own
In Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” she tells a horrific ghost story about symptoms of the rest cure. The “rest cure” was a treatment developed by Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell who restricted women of intellectual stimuli and condemned them to a domestic life to help their postpartum recovery. After being a victim of this treatment, Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Careful attention to the use of Gilman’s symbols in her short story allows the reader to analyze some of the themes concerning feminism and societal misogyny. Foreshadowing throughout, Gilman uses the house, the writing, and the wallpaper as symbols to show how man’s use of the “rest cure” limit women in society and offers that the solution to this issue is to persistently tear away at man’s injustice.
Animals such as the caterpillar, frog, and dragonfly all undergo the transformation of metamorphosis where they transition to a new stage of life. In Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator, assumedly Jane, undergoes a unique metamorphosis and her transformation is symbolized by the yellow wallpaper within the short-story. Like a caterpillar, the narrator’s metamorphosis is spent mostly in isolation, a real life cocoon where the silk swaddles are traded for barred-windows and the transformation into a butterfly is Jane’s liberation from herself. The powerful symbolism depicted in the short-story has been criticized for numerous years, and K.V Rao’s analysis eloquently
The narrator sees, “The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out” (314). The figure leads to the narrator insanity. As the figure lurks along the walls it cannot leave for it remains trapped. Jane herself stands stuck in her role in society, therefore she relates herself to the figure. In the moonlight, the figure begins to move. She moves for the reason that, “The moon shines in all around just as the sun does. I hate to see it sometimes, it creeps so slowly, and always comes in by one window or another” (314). She stays still in the sunlight, much similar to the narrator. The narrator is restricted to lie in bed all day until nighttime when she secretly roams. The woman stuck in the wallpaper demonstrates how the narrator feels