What Is The Mood Of The Yellow Wallpaper

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” is written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the short story takes place in the diary of an unnamed woman in 1892; who is being driven crazy by improper medical treatment illustrated by the narrator’s increasing obsession with the wallpaper in her bedroom. Gilman reveals to the readers that the narrator struggles with a form of mental illness throughout the story; the narrator says she has ‘temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency’. In response to these mental struggles the narrator is prescribed the ‘resting cure’; also known as bed rest. As the story progresses the woman's mental health deteriorates while her mind twists reality creating an antagonist out of an inanimate object she can’t escape due …show more content…

This is important when analyzing the narrator's downward spiral because the variation in the narrator's tone throughout the story illustrates her descent into madness. In the beginning, the narrator uses imagery when describing the color of the wallpaper, she says, “The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smoldering, unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulfur tint in others”(Gliman). Similar to when the narrator personifies the wallpaper she begins the story by illustrating the wallpaper with a distasteful tone but eventually her tone when describing the wallpaper will evolve into a more aggressive obsession. Imagery is seen again when the narrator describes the ‘bad’ that the wallpaper brings, saying, “It is the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw—not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things”(Gilman). The wallpaper’s color has transformed from being ‘unclean’ to ‘strange’ and a reminder of all the ‘bad yellow things’ the narrator has ever seen. This change in tone when illustrating the image of the yellow wallpaper is yet another example of how Gilman uses literary devices like imagery and tone to emphasize the narrator’s deteriorating mental illness. Another example of this is when she has her mental breakdown at the end of the novel, “I pulled and she shook, I shook and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper. A strip about as high as my head and half around the room”(Gilman). Personification, imagery, and tone are all used here to emphasize the woman losing her mind and all sense of reality because she and the ‘woman’ in the wall are ripping apart the wallpaper. Finally in the end the tone

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