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. “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.
In The Yellow Wallpaper written in 1894, Gilman portrays the protagonist as a victim of oppression. Oppression is defined as being heavily burdened mentally or physically by troubles or adverse conditions. Oppression is also a form of authority over someone who is in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. During the 1800’s women were subject to strict laws of society which prevented them from many civil rights and opportunities. The narrator feels oppressed by her relationship with her husband, her house, and the wallpaper.
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.
The woman in the wallpaper is trapped just like she is. The narrator creates a figure that she could relate to and then spends all her time focused on the figure and trying to figure out how to help the woman in the wallpaper escape her cell. As the story continues and she remains isolated, it is obvious Jane views herself as the woman inside the wallpaper. As a result of being trapped in her room, she begins to lose her sanity. She believes she is trapped in the wallpaper and must escape its holds. No one could see that the narrator is completely unstable because she is withdrawn from everyone as an effect of her depression. By the time the husband notices her state of mind, it is too late. The narrator is mentally gone and stuns the husband. As the husband faints, Jane is too withdrawn to respond; therefore, she continues her routine although her husband’s body is lying in the way. She loses her sanity because she has to find companionship in wallpaper since she could not associate with any living beings. In Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Jane, the narrator, is isolated from society as part of her “rest cure” treatment for her postpartum
Two inspiring pieces of literature called Macbeth by William Shakespeare and “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkings Gilman share one eminent theme, which is the suppression of the female gender. Societies often place barbaric labels on those who seem unworthy rather than fight the judgments that are concrete and see for themselves. Social ideas during the two diverse time periods demonstrate how women are not seen as powerful figures and insanity progress within those who are stereotyped. Women are seen as creatures that are ineligible to think for themselves in. Lady Macbeth is convinced to rid her self of anything feminine and be fierce like a man. While plotting against Duncan, Lady Macbeth
Gilman, in this particular passage of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” explores the theme of female oppression through imagery and symbolism of the wall-paper. These elements of literature make the wall-paper come to life for both the narrator and the audience. “The front pattern does move”(55) personifies the wall-paper to be so animate and physically restraining that the woman behind it must shake it to attempt to escape. The italicization of “does” serves to further affirm that the wallpaper exhibits restrictive human-like behaviors - particularly those of dominant men in society. The narrator states that there are “a great many woman behind”(55), extending the metaphor to all Victorian women in the United States and others around the world who are oppressed. Many women were in fact belittled by the ideal of true womanhood and exhibited characteristics such as submissiveness or piety. Gilman also employs somber diction throughout the story, such as “crawl”(55) and “creep”(58) to suggest that covert agency is the only way for women to improve their situations at
The woman was going crazy in her own world as she saw something coming out the yellow wall. The wallpaper had a bright yellow color that drove the narrator crazy and tried to peel it down. The woman was fighting with her mental illness as she explains her influence of her personal life, a woman’s right, and her mental illness. A woman in the early 20th century wrote a story, her story was heard about her mental illness and she had no type of support. The narrator of the story “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper” says, “It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked” (Gilman
She begins to see strangles heads in the wallpaper, which can be a symbolic representation of the patriarchal order that stifled women. The bars on the wallpaper that cage the imaginary women are a reflection of her own situation where she is confined in the old mansion. Even the smell of the wallpaper, which she describes as being ‘yellow’ and present throughout the house, is a reflection of the mental repression that is always present in her life. She is so consumed by the smell that she thinks about burning the old mansion just to cover it
Madness often occurs when somebody desires something that is not accessible to them. When somebody cannot have what they want most, they can go insane yearning for it. For example, if an individual struggling with alcoholism attempts to go sober, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms because their body is so used to having alcohol that it has forgotten how to function without it. During this withdrawal period, the individual may crave alcohol to the point that their psychological instincts take over and they will do absolutely anything for a drink. In The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator goes insane in her longing for freedom. Throughout the story, the narrator’s insanity serves as a catalyst for her freedom
Being a woman in the early twentieth century, she simply followed what her husband told her. She did not have her own voice and kept her thoughts to herself. With that being said, it is as if her identity is simply that of the average woman during her time. However, the days she spends in confinement go by, the identity of that woman drifts away and she is overtaken by the identity of her own mental illness. As said in Diana Martin’s journal on “Images in Psychiatry”, while the narrator in isolation she becomes “increasingly despondent and nervous”. 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, 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
The vast majority of people wouldn’t give the wallpaper much thought, however the narrator becomes obsessed with it. To the narrator, the wallpaper is alive and becomes the focus of all her time. Her overwhelming lure to the wallpaper becomes obvious when she first provides a very vivid description stating “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions” (217-218). As she begins to lose her grip on reality, the narrator beings to see faces and eventually a woman within the wallpaper. At first, her description of seeing faces in the wallpaper seems like it could be her mind making since of the varying patterns or just part of her imagination. 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
Her descriptions of the room, with the furniture seemingly being nailed to the floor and the windows being “barred” show an underlying understanding that her thoughts and personality is being confined. The irony present in this description, due to her belief that the room used to be a nursery, shows her early denial of her husband’s dominance over her. As the story progresses and she begins to see the woman behind the wallpaper, the reader is exposed to the narrator’s realization that she is the one that is actually being suppressed. The descriptions of the wallpaper, showing how confining it is for the symbolic woman behind it, shows how the narrator is being trapped by those bars in both her marriage and in her mental illness. Thus when she says, “At night in any kind of light… it becomes bars,” the reader is shown how restricted the narrator feels, reflected through the wallpaper. In her society, it is the woman that is left to be alone in her own thoughts, shown through her husband’s freedom to leave the house and not come back until he wants to versus her confinement to the house. This is reflected through the various “hedges and walls and gates that lock”, making her stay isolated in the house. Ultimately, the character is overtaken by the imagination and through the
The story “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892 shows mental illness through the narrator first hand. The theme in this story is going insane verses loneliness as well as being trapped. These themes are shown through the main character (the narrator of the story) as she works through her own mind, life, and surroundings.
Paula A. Treichler from the University of Illinois analyzes “The Yellow Wallpaper” and its effects of the diagnosis given to the main character effectively in her article “Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’”. In her article, Treichler emphasizes the reasons why the main character was lead to believe her diagnosis from her husband and the other contributing factors that played a role in her hysteria, such as lack of social interaction and confinement.
She becomes obsessed with the patterns of the wallpaper, but she mainly notices a woman that she thinks is trying to free herself from the confines of the wall. During the day this woman is still, but when night time comes around, it seems as though the woman creeps around. Towards the end of the story, the narrator has a breakdown and thinks that she is this woman inside of the wallpaper, and begins to perform similar actions like creeping around. This meaning of this scene is simple cause and effect. Not only did she already have postpartum depression, but she is basically trapped in this house for a whole summer with nothing to do so she can heal. Not following the instructions given to her by her doctor and being confined in this area has caused some sort of mental build up. The wallpaper driving her crazy, suffering a mental illness, and having such an isolated lifestyle in a house isolated from the main villages has put thoughts into her head that she believes, like being the woman in the wall. That was the effect; the cause of all of this is simply because she wanted something to do after having her whole life changed for a few months, so she went to the