“The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out” (Gilman 652). The narrator can see a person, the person can be representing herself. She feels trapped and may be losing her mind. She can see woman trapped behind the wall and not be able to escape from it. The narrator describes it in detail that it seems like she is talking about herself going through all this emotionally and physically.
Skip to content THEBLUMEBLOG Exploring Literature in a Digital Age Menu The Yellow Wallpaper Argument Essay Written by theblume The_Yellow_Wallpaper_by_kaitaro04011“The Yellow Wallpaper” is, on its surface, about a woman driven insane by post-partum depression and a dangerous treatment. However, an examination of the protagonist’s characterization reveals that the story is fundamentally about identity. The protagonist’s projection of an imaginary woman — which at first is merely her shadow — against the bars of the wallpaper’s pattern fragments her identity, internalizing the conflict she experiences and eventually leading to the complete breakdown of the boundaries of her identity and that of her projected shadow.
On the other side in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, from 1916, we see a similar lack of respect towards women. Although these stories are different, there is still evidence of women going against the social norms. When one becomes confined to solitary oftentimes the brain will entertain itself within the environment it finds itself. Locked away in an attic nursery we see Gilman’s narrator occupying herself with the wallpaper.
As the story progresses it is palpable that the yellow wallpaper itself symbolizes mental illnesses. One reason the wallpaper symbolizes mental illness is because in the beginning of the story the narrator’s insanity is getting worse by her distress over the paper. The narrator of the story is the first person who is affected by the wallpaper, and just like mental illness in real life, the victim is the first person to be aware and affected by their condition. One of the things disturbing the narrator at first were the shapes of the paper and how they became more evident as the days past.
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).
However, we later see a shift in her feelings towards the wallpaper as she states that she is growing “really fond of the room in spite of the wallpaper” and comes to a realization that it may be “because of the wallpaper” (Par 94) As her opinions on the wallpaper begin to change, the progression of her mental instability becomes increasing visible. She begins to build a relationship with the wallpaper and claims that “There are things in that paper that nobody knows about” (Par 22) her. As this relationship with the wallpaper builds, her sanity begins to slip, and the hallucinations begin in a somewhat minor manor. In her first mention of “the woman” she says that the pattern on the
While the narrator was sitting in her room she states, “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over” (Gilman). Strictly speaking, the narrators intellectual lack of activity caused her to see a woman trapped within the wallpaper. The point of view within the short story gives us a better view on what the narrator had to go through. “Years later, Gilman claimed the story reflected her own experience under the care of Philadelphia neurologist, S. Weir Mitchell, in 1887, and that the story’s purpose was to spare others from such treatment” (Bittel). Therefore, using the first person point of view in present tense shows the deep emotional and mental state of her life.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” in 1892 to convey the thoughts of a troubled woman trapped in a male dominated world. Women in the nineteenth century were faced with patriarchal oppression and many characteristics of the story gives the reader an inside view of what it was like as a woman living in this time period. The men in this era of patriarchy treated women as if they were inferior and tried to exert their dominance over them whenever possible. The women couldn’t do anything and were forced to accept what their husbands said as the final say. The power of men over women can be seen in the beginning of the story were the narrator is writing in her journal and says that she could’ve been healed faster if it wasn’t
In Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the author illustrates restrictive gender roles towards both men and women, such as forcing women to act like the traditional women and restricting them to their own social class, and forcing men to act strong and masculine, and shows that they are restricted to these roles because of machismo, in order to protest the effects of
The society of that time had ideas and expectations on how women should behave. They were expected to be humble, pure, innocent, good wives and mothers. Furthermore, they were seen as inferior to men in almost every aspect. Feeling himself as a 'misfit ', Hardy was always in a disagreement with editors and critics, thus he had to edit his texts to conform the Victorian Society. In this way, he identified himself with the suppressed classes.
The heavy bedstead, which was nailed to the ground, was another feature that represents the room as a jail cell. Therefore, the room that she is prisoned shows how the madness benefited her to gain control and achieve a way to escape her confinement. In conclusion, the diverse literature 's do share a common theme that shows women fighting to overcome societal expectations due to the female gender not valued as thinkers capable of being their equals and mental illness can be caused by society’s stereotypical
I wonder—I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!”(Gilman 652) The wallpaper starts to tangle in her mind confusing her and she is starting to see things in it. The wallpaper is the same as the mind of the woman, continuously building up the insanity, and having thoughts that no one knows but her, and the
He counters the concept of “separate spheres” which was a “social construction of gender”, where the idea of proper womanhood was used to constrict women, while proper manhood empowered men (Johnson Lewis). The obstacles that divided men and women were gender stereotypical roles, as women as subservient “soft, irrational, emotional, self-sacrificing and loving” and men as “tough, rational, self-advancing, competitive, and harsh” (O 'Malley). The typical feminine roles were thought of as the private sphere, and masculine ones were public. This male dominance is shown by the fact that the “contribution of women in the society was limited and solely controlled under patriarchal authority”; men dictated the terms of everyday life for women leading to limited roles for women in political, legal, and economic matters
I almost wonder if Gilman was trying to speak out facetiously through the story about how mistreatment of the mentally ill is a phenomenon that will continue to take place in the future. Furthermore, Jane was ill, and having been mistreated in her circumstance only made her existing condition and also the unpleasant topic for me worse. Looking at this story with Feminist theory in mind would be fitting, as her husband dismissed her voiced needs because he believed he knew what was best for her and she did not. I interpret this selection of text as sexism; though I’m sure he loved her very much, he was still controlling and believed she couldn’t think for herself for she was a woman.
At first this lady is basically a shapeless figure behind the senseless wallpaper design, much like the shadow. The way that the figure is at first "shapeless" shows that there is a defined outline of this being, since in the end she claims that the shape she sees is that of a woman. This changes before the end of the story when the wallpaper appears to torment her. Along these lines, her inevitable personality change is something that appears to happen gradually as her loneliness in the room takes control of her