Yellow Wallpaper Mental Illness

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The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, The Yellow Wallpaper, gives an in-depth look at a woman who is suffering from mental illness by using character. Gilman lets her readers know at the beginning of the short story that the narrator of the story has become mentally ill. The story is told in first-person, focusing completely on her own opinions, emotions, and observations. The narrator feels as if she is truly sick but her friends and family, especially her husband, feel as if “There is really nothing the matter with one but a slight hysterical tendency.” (Gilman. 309) Gilman quickly informs her readers that the anonymous narrator loves to write. The whole short story is about the narrator writing in her journal. However, her…show more content…
During the short story the narrator creates this continuous obsession over yellow wallpaper. Her husband brings her to the “summer home” in order to speed up the recovery for the mental illness that she is battling with. When she sees the yellow wallpaper she describes the pattern as “one of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.” (Gilman. 309) Everything about the wallpaper drives the narrator insane. Later in the story the readers figure out that the narrator thinks that there are many women in the wallpaper but there is one in particular that has the narrator going crazy. She sees illusions of a woman in the wallpaper with many heads, eyes all over the walls, and a pattern moving under the moonlight. The woman in particular is trapped in the pattern of the wallpaper. As the narrator is trying to get this woman out she starts to believe that she too is stuck inside the wallpaper. The narrator then begins to rip the wallpaper off the wall and into pieces. The narrator also personifies the wallpaper. She says that it has this smell that bothers her. The wallpaper also “moves under the moonlight.” (Gilman. 309) Which is not said under metaphorical terms. She literally watches the patterns change under the sunlight to the moonlight. She also wakes up in the middle of the night to see if the wallpaper would move against her hand as she touched it. The narrator gives the…show more content…
The narrator looks at objects and situations a lot differently than normal people would and usually the narrator’s outlook is not positive. Gilman uses this short story as a representation to her readers about how people do not think critically about how serious mental illnesses are. Many people compare mental illness to an illness like the common cold. You have temporary symptoms that last for about a week and then you are all better. However, mental illness is much more complex. The recovery process takes time and professional
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