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 …show more content…
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. Nonetheless, the narrator continues to pen her ideas about the wallpaper as it transpired from being perplexing to gaining clarity each day. Amidst arriving at a full conclusion of what the wallpaper depicts, the narrator says she sees “a woman stooping down and creeping about behind the pattern” (Perkins Gilman, 50). As the days passed, …show more content…
Despite their endeavors to escape their bondage, the women behind the bars could not escape because the men found alternative tactics to keep them in confinement. The bars strangle and cut off the heads of the women that climb out of the pattern, “it turns them upside down and makes their eyes white!” resonating to an envision of a crazy woman. The narrator herself is a great example of how effective men were at establishing alternative tactics like this. The narrator was classified as having hysterical tendencies, like most women of the nineteenth century, were when they complained of pain, anxiety, fatigue, or depression, as a source of suppressing their agency through prescribed isolation and prohibited writing. Nevertheless, on a night that John was not home, the narrator and the woman in the wall struggled all night and morning to get her out but were unsuccessful. After hours of trying, the narrator became desperate, desperate enough to “come out of that wall-paper” herself and confront man while urging other women to do the same (Perkins Gilman, 58). The story ends with John fainting right across the narrator’s path of the wall after she says “I’ve got out at last...you can’t put me back” demonstrating that she has challenged the American culture of inherited oblivious misogyny and conquered promoting the equality of sexes
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Analysis of the Insane Process of the Heroine in the Yellow Wallpaper The author of the Yellow Wallpaper is Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860—1935), an outstanding American feminist, writer, novelist and so on. During her life, Gilman has written so many poetry and short stories. She is a utopian feminist and is honored as a role model for future generations of females due to her odd concepts and lifestyle. The Yellow Wallpaper is not the first or the longest work of her, but it is a best-seller of all her works.
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.
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 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.
As this progresses, the woman starts to go mad from ignorance and starts to believe there is someone behind the Wallpaper. In her room, the narrator starts to obsess over the Wallpaper. The Wallpaper symbolizes women starting to realize how unfair they were treated and how responded to this. As the women’s illness keeps getting subdued by her husband, she starts to go mad and the wallpaper demonstrates this. In the third entry of her diary she says, “Of
The short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a brilliant piece of fictional literature. The tale involves a mentally ill woman who is kept in a hideous, yellow room under the orders of her husband, John, who is a physician. The ill woman is conflicted due to the fact that the horrifying yellow wallpaper in the room is trapping a woman who she must help escape, but the sick woman is aware that she must get better in order to leave the terrifying, yellow room. The setting and personification applied in the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, allows readers to develop an understanding of the sickness of the main character faces.
Secondly, throughout the story, the narrator describes seeing an evolving woman trapped inside of the wall. Although readers can assume that this woman is merely a product of the narrator’s mind, the woman can also be seen as a symbol of the narrator and her feelings of being trapped. Eventually, the woman in the wall aids the narrator in her escape. In conclusion, many elements of the narrator’s increasing madness throughout The Yellow Wallpaper contributed to her freedom from the confines of the room, the confines of society, and the confines of her
The woman was obsessed with the wallpaper she begins to hallucinate that something was creeping on her. She had locked herself in the room and would not let anyone in the bedroom with her because she was trying to trap the creeper that she thought she saw. The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” say,“‘Open the door, my darling!’ , ‘I can’t,’ said I. ‘ The key is down by the front door under a plantain leaf’”
Initially, the narrator is disgusted and irritated by the paper, claiming, “I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (339). This reaction mirrors that of a sane person’s--fearing the unknown, they distance themselves from insanity and any iteration of it, seeing it as grotesque and shameful. Yet, as she spends more time in the room, she grows interested in the wallpaper and begins to investigate. She comes to the conclusion that: “I didn 't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman” (346).
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.
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.
However as time moves on, and the woman in the wallpaper becomes more and more real to her, it’s clear that her mental state is rapidly depleting. Her first description of a figure in the wallpaper came when she stated that the wallpaper had a “recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down” (219). By the time the story ends, the narrator had turned into the
(678) in this statement she is challenging herself and this shows the reader she is facing some confusion. The yellow wallpaper in the main characters (the narrator) bedroom is a major point in the story. The yellow wallpaper plays a major role in the woman’s insanity. The woman’s obsession with the wallpaper creates her problem and affects her mind and judgment. This is shown in, “It dwells on my mind so!”
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.
Domestic Imprisonment in The Yellow Wallpaper The Yellow Wallpaper is an epistolary short story written in 1892 using conventions of the psychological Gothic horror to critique the position of women in the domestic circle within a Victorian society by prominent American feminist and social reformer Charlotte Perkins Gilman who lived from 1860 to 1935. This work of fiction is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century towards women’s health, both physical and mental. In this essay, I will be discussing the portrayal of imprisonment within the domestic sphere in The Yellow Wallpaper with close commentary on space and setting primarily, as well as supporting references to other