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.
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.”
“The Yellow Wallpaper” a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and published in 1892, is both a psychological and feminist piece of literature. It demonstrates oppression, defined as “the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.” The story, written in a form of a journal, is seen through the eyes of a nameless female narrator, who moves with her husband, John, to an estate during the summer to cope with her “hysteria”, eventually leading her to a state of oppression and insanity. The story reflects the confinement and restraint most women during the 1900s felt in marriages and the inferiority women had too men.
During the period of modernism, unexpected breaks in tradition occurred with viewing the world differently. The authors used literature during the modernism time to show the decay and the growing alienation of individuals. A portrayal of a restricted role in society stands reflected in Charlotte Gilman’s, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The protagonist knows she is limited in her role in society as she agonizes what her husband will think of her actions. By visualizing the woman behind bars she pictures herself self-consciously. To capture the reader’s attention Charlotte Gilman uses a short story demonstration fear and insanity. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Gilman uses imagery to illustrate how a limited role of a female in society can drive her insane.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator, Jane, has postpartum depression. In order to cure this depression, John, Jane’s husband and a doctor, administer the rest treatment on her. Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” through her personal experience. Along with writing “The Yellow Wallpaper” she wrote an explanation for why she wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
Charlotte Gilman’s short story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, (1899) is a text that describes how suppression of women and their confinement in domestic sphere leads to descend into insanity for escape. The story is written as diary entries of the protagonist, who is living with her husband in an old mansion for the summer. The protagonist, who remains unnamed, is suffering from post-partum depression after the birth of her child and is on ‘rest’ cure by her physician husband. In this paper, I will try to prove that ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ acts as a subversive text by portraying the protagonist’s “descent into madness” as a result of the suppression that women faced in Victorian period.
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. Throughout the reading, the reader is exposed to the narrator’s in-depth loss of touch with reality as she sinks further and further into her own reality. As she becomes more isolated, her descriptions of the house become more abstract as she begins to focus on the wallpaper and starts to see herself as being hidden behind it.
To develop the setting of the house, Gilman uses vivid diction to craft an image of the house to show how men a imprisoning the minds of women in Victorian society. Gilman introduces the house as a “colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity” (1066). Although her description uses the words “romantic felicity” which seem to carry a light tone, these words are preceded by the dark statement that the estate is a “haunted house”. By contrasting these two tones, Gilman foreshadows that the house in which the narrator is interned for treatment might seem magnificent and grand, but in reality, the house and the rest cure will turn out to be her doom. The foreshadowing hints that Gilman uses the contrasting description of the house to point out how physicians like John are oppressing women by denying them their right to a postpartum experience with their baby, a thing of “romantic felicity,” and instead, turning it into an ordeal as nightmarish as a “haunted house.”
The three stories to be discussed in this essay are “The Bouquet” by Charles W. Chesnutt, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and “Gimpel the Fool” by Isaac Bashevis Singer. It’s interesting to dissect these pieces of literature to see how they reflect the time period they were written in, by whom they were written, and if the stories they read have any abnormalities outside what is expected.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a first-person written feminist short story that critiques and condemns the nineteenth-century American male attitude towards women and their physical as well as mental health issues. In the short story, Perkins Gilman juxtaposes universal gender perspectives of women with hysterical tendencies using the effects of gradually accumulating levels of solitary confinement; a haunted house, nursery, and the yellow wallpaper to highlight the American culture of inherited oblivious misogyny and promote the equality of sexes. The narrator and her husband, John, embody the general man and woman of the nineteenth century. John, like the narrator’s brother and most men, is “a physician of high
I don’t like it a bit. I wonder— I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!” (231). Shortly after the narrator who remains unnamed and her husband John rented an old mansion, the narrator encountered a state of delusion in the wallpaper that surrounded her. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator develops a peculiar relationship with the wallpaper; the author’s use of allusion, symbolism, and personification identifies the existence of the woman’s illness.
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.
In the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman represents how wretchedness is overlooked and changed into blended sentiments that eventually result in a significantly more profound enduring incongruity. The Yellow Wallpaper utilizes striking mental and psychoanalytical symbolism and an effective women's activist message to present a topic of women' have to escape from detainment by their male centric culture. In the story, the narrator's better half adds to the generalization individuals put on the rationally sick as he confines his significant other from social circumstances and keeps her in an isolated house. The narrator it's made out to trust that something isn't right with her and is informed that she experiences some illness by her own significant other John.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” tells the story of a young woman who is battling severe depression. The protagonist is essentially locked away for the summer as a cure for her psychological disorder(s) (Craig 36). Being locked in the house with the yellow wallpaper worsens her mental state and eventually drives her to insanity. Throughout the course of the story, the protagonist’s mental state noticeably declines; she claims there are people in the wallpaper and believes it is haunting her. Several Gothic themes are scattered throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper”; however, the protagonist’s isolation, the presence of insanity, and the occurring idea of supernatural elements are most prominent and can be used to justify “The Yellow
In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, author Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses many literary techniques to allow the reader to understand the universal truth that a woman’s class is seen as lower than that of a man’s, due to their sex. We see this truth throughout the literary work, when the main character who is a woman, is put in confinement and later becomesdistraught and mentally unstablebecause her husband and brother who are both Physicians diagnoses her as “nervously depressed”. Two techniques author Gilman uses is tone and diction to illustrate how the narrator, among most women in that time period is treated as below men in class, with little say in their own mental or physical issues. Gilman utilizes tone to illustrate the universal truth of gender being in hand with class status, effectively. In the literary work,the narrator’s tone shifts from hopeless in the beginning, to determine in the end.