People have beliefs that short stories are narrated by people who are reliable. However, unreliable narrators are people who are telling the story in their own way. The three stories, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, and Strawberry Spring by Stephen King. The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is unreliable because she cannot determine reality from hallucinations and cannot express herself because she is dominated by her role as a woman.
“ 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 wars” (Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper). The narrator was forced to conform to the room, even though she repeated stated she wanted to move downstairs. This demonstrates how the room obviously oppresses the narrator, and trapped her in her own insanity. What keeps the narrator’s obsession is the wallpaper, in moments where she even begins to see figures and movement; “ This wall-paper has a kind of sub-pattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one, for you can only see it in certain lights, and not clearly then” ( Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper). The narrator also claimed to see various women behind the wallpaper, as stated in the story “ a great many women behind, and sometimes only one” (Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper).
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 narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the main character in the short novel. She is a young newly married mother in the upper middle class who is very imaginative. The narrator is going through a stage of depression and believes the house they have temporarily moved into is haunted. What the narrator is actually experiencing is called Postpartum depression, depression suffered by a mother following childbirth. This illness can arise from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.
Gilman shows the progression of the main character’s insanity through the woman in the wallpaper, John, and the bed. Like most individuals, the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” gradually shows increased symptoms of insanity. She begins the summer as a sane individual. As time progresses, she starts acting
"The Yellow Wallpaper" is about a lady made crazy by post pregnancy anxiety and a hazardous treatment. However,, an examination of the protagonist’s portrayal shows that the story is generally about character. The protagonist’s projection of a fanciful lady, which at first is just her shadow, against the bars of the wallpaper shows her personality, disguising the contention she is dealing with and in the end prompting the entire breakdown of the limits of her character and that of her shadow. Continually alone and not allowed to abandon her room, the absence of something to involve her time makes the protagonist very confused. With blocked windows, the room is very similar to a jail.
To be trapped in one's own mind may be the worst prison imaginable. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", the narrator of the story is constantly at battle with many different forces, such as John, her husband, the yellow wallpaper that covers the walls of her room, and ultimately herself. Throughout the story the narrator further detaches herself from her life and becomes fixated on the yellow wallpaper that surrounds her in her temporary home, slowly driving her mad.
It is a story that could actually happen. In the story, Jane expresses concerns about her mental health to her husband, John, a doctor, who through good intentions and believing that he is doing the right thing, requires that his wife stays in bed all the time, and not do any of the things she would normally or would like to do. Due to being bed ridden, Jane becomes worse until she reached the limit and goes crazy. John’s behavior and decisions at this time were considered to be completely normal. The Yellow Wallpaper is considered to fall in the genre of realism because it represents the way life was for women during the nineteenth century.
Enclosed to the four wall of this “big” room, the narrator says “the paint and paper look as if a boy’s school had used it” because “it is stripped off” indicating that males have attempted to distort women’s truth but somehow did not accomplish distorting the entire truth (Perkins Gilman, 43). When the narrator finally looked at the wall and the paint and paper on it, she was disgusted at the sight. The yellow wallpaper, she penned, secretly against the will of men, committed artistic sin and had lame uncertain curves that suddenly committed suicide when you followed them for a little distance. The narrator is forced to express her discomfort with the image to her husband, he sees it as an “excited fancy” that is provoked by the “imaginative power and habit of story making” by “a nervous weakness” like hers (Perkins Gilman, 46). Essentially, he believes that her sickness is worsening and the depth of her disease is the cause of the unexpected paranoia.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story that was written in first person during 1892. This story depicts society’s attitude towards women with a mental illness at that time. Ultimately, the story shows how women were treated in the 19th century. “And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern.
Martin states that the narrator’s confinement in the upstairs bedroom fortifies her mental illness developing into “a frightening hallucinatory world constructed around the pattern of the yellow paper on the wall.” This shift in her identity happens as the shift in her disposition towards the wallpaper changes. The wallpaper is a visible metaphor that eventually becomes her identity. In the beginning of her stay in the bedroom she says the wallpaper is “committing artistic sin” (Par34) and can push anyone to “suddenly commit suicide” (Par35) These comments show her despise towards the wallpaper and the separation she originally has from it.
The yellow wallpaper is not just the dreadful décor the narrator is stuck within the story but the most important symbol in the story. It symbolizes how women were not allowed to change or free to make their own decisions. The narrator once said that the wallpaper "sticks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it" (Gilman). She felt like the wallpaper stuck and not able to succumb to change she demonstrates this as well when she says "The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out" (Gilman). The narrator herself became the women she saw in the wallpaper that she felt trapped in a life without change which manifested itself into the wallpaper further increasing the symbolism and importance of yellow wallpaper.
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). This specific wallpaper makes the narrator feel a certain way. At first, she does not like the color or how it looks. But then not having anything else to do in the room, she starts examining the wallpaper.
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.