In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator is treated for depression by “rest cure,” isolation from society, which affects her mentality causing her to become secretive, withdrawn, and insane. With the treatment
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.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” a man trying to cure his wife’s mental illness actually causes her to become more
Insanity is a deranged state of the mind. Not everyone has the same experiences nor the same symptoms which lead to their mental disorder. In her story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents a peculiar case of insanity. The main character is put on bed rest to overcome her temporary nervous depression. However, while being stuck inside the room, the unreliable narrator increasingly becomes more and more symptomatic. Gilman shows the progression of the main character’s insanity through the woman in the wallpaper, John, and the bed.
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.
Now, the paper is no longer dead and as the life of the wallpaper resuscitates, Jane’s life is collaterally being drained. Rao takes this occurrence on an even deeper level and states, “The dead wallpaper has come alive for Charlotte and it has the power to influence her; and it 'knows' its power and it conveys the fact that it knows!” (Rao 41). The wallpaper’s animation evolves as the piece progresses, and Jane admits, “I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design” (Gilman 959). The next stage and similarly the pupa stage of Jane’s metamorphosis is when she states, “the faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out” (Gilman 961).
In order to free the women trapped by the paper in turn possibly freeing herself, the narrator begins to peel off the wallpaper and after a few days almost all the wallpaper was off the wall. However, as the amount of wallpaper on the wall decreases so does the narrators mental stability. By the time that she had "peeled off all the paper (she) could reach standing on the floor" (206) the narrator wanted "to do something desperate" (206). It is at this point in the story that the reader realizes that the narrator will not recover before the story ends. By peeling off the wallpaper, the narrator is in theory freeing herself from the yellow room; however, the fate of the narrator is left open to
This differs greatly from Jane, who begins to sympathize with the plight of all domestic women through her experience with the woman behind the yellow wallpaper. Although she initially frowned upon the woman’s efforts to escape, the more her mental health deteriorated, the more she began to relate her plight to that of the trapped woman, both prisoners desperate for escape. With her newfound revelation, she sought to save the trapped woman from her prison, subconsciously freeing herself in the process. “As soon as it was moonlight and that poor thing began to crawl and shake the pattern, I got up and ran to help her…I wonder if they all came out of that wallpaper as I did?… “I’ve got out at last,” said I, “in spite of you and Jane!
This observation also serves as the narrator recognizing the paper’s, or boundary’s, relevance to herself; she sees a “woman”--a reflection of herself--trapped behind the paper, confined by that thin line that separates herself from total insanity. Her behavior becomes obsessive: she keeps a constant vigil of the wallpaper at night, and claims that the woman behind the wallpaper “is all the time trying to climb through” (348). And the narrator aids her escape--as soon as she is given the opportunity: “I shook and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper” (349). The destruction of the wallpaper is symbolic of her fully delving into the world of insanity. From this point
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story set in the 1890s about a female narrator who struggles with postpartum depression. She moves into a home for the summer with her husband, John. Since she has this sickness, John forbids her from doing any sort of activities other than some houes work. If she was doing anything, her husband would want her to rest to help with her illness. This was a common "cure" known at the rest cure back then.
As the narrator becomes more fascinated with the wallpaper she moves progressively away from her normal day-to-day routines and lifestyle. When the narrator finally recognizes herself as the woman trapped in the wallpaper she screams at her husband "I 've got out at last," (Gilman 656) "you can 't put me back" (Gilman 656). She realizes woman are forced to hide behind the internal patterns of their lives and they need that she needs to be
By the end of the story the narrator was incredibly disassociated and has convinced herself that she freed herself from the wallpaper by tearing it off of the wall and that she shall be able to creep around the house no matter what John and Jennie try to do to "put her back in the wallpaper". She believes she has won her freedom, when she has only imprisoned herself inside of her own
Jane tells John, her husband, what she is feeling, but he does not listen to her and assumes everything is fine ( Gilman 527). John decides to ignore her feelings instead of trying to help her; this suggests that their relationship is not healthy. According to Suess, Jane also has an unhealthy relationship with the medical language. One of the reasons she feels this way is because according to doctors, there is nothing wrong with her health. Mental problems, such as depression, are issues men in the nineteenth century do not seem to be aware of (Suess).
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
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.