“The Yellow Wallpaper” Literary Analysis The “Yellow Wallpaper” is a iconic short story written by Charlotte Perkins, a famous feminist author. The novel takes place the 19th century and deals with the issue of how women dealt with mental health issues, specifically postpartum depression. Back in the 19th century the way physicians dealt with women 's mental health was much different then it is today, back then they believed that the cure for depression was solvable by isolation and rest. As a result many women suffering from postpartum depression were forced into isolation which only made their situation worse. Jane; the narrator of the short story, is one of these woman forced into the rest treatment by her physician husband.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story that was written in first person during 1892. This story depicts society’s attitude towards women with a mental illness at that time. Ultimately, the story shows how women were treated in the 19th century. “And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit.
Traditionally, women were described in a sense that is dominated by men in literary works. However, Charlotte Perkins Gilman connected the social phenomenon in that time with her personal experience to create a fictional narrative about feminist “The Yellow Wall-paper” which is about an unnamed woman who has postpartum depression and is sent to a house by her husband in order to cue her mental illness, and finally gets mad because of her self-centred and dominating husband. The narrator, a nameless woman in order to symbolize any wife, mother, or woman, is oppressed and clearly represents the significant influence from the oppression of women. Gilman uses symbolism to portray the narrator’s self-expression and the oppression she suffers in the society in the nineteenth century. In most cases, house is a symbol of security ordinarily, a cozy place where women are in a position to express their ideas and thoughts.
Symbolism Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper One might know that Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” uses the wallpaper in the main character’s room as a symbol for a bigger underlying meaning. This is a short story about a young women diagnosed of depression and “a slight hysterical tendency”. In hopes of healing the narrator, her husband moves them into an old, ornate home for the summer and required her to refrain from any activity to calm her mind. However, instead of getting better, the narrator goes into a deeper level of madness. This madness is caused by her obsession over what she believes is animate patterns and a trapped women in a peeling, aged wallpaper in her room.
Throughout short fiction, Charlotte Gilman is most famously noted for her ability to create strong gothic themes in her writing. This is especially true in her 1890s story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Overall, an important theme in Charlotte Gilman short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is that when combined, isolation and oppression often lead to negative consequences such as insanity and mental instability. Gilman achieves this through her thorough use of symbolism and settings that helps to highlight and establish the overall theme. As often seen in the 1800s, the role in which women played amongst society was often minuscule, and unheard of compared to their male counterparts. This is exactly the case in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In a time
Thirdly, the yellow wallpaper of the nursery itself symbolizes the domestic life that traps women in line with family, medicine and tradition imposed on by the patriarchal society of the Victorian era. The protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper anthropomorphizes the floral elements of the yellow wallpaper, wherein wallpaper is typically a feminine floral decoration on the interiors of walls. These elements signify the scrutiny this 19th-century Western society makes of lives of its womenfolk, particularly of women who are creative and insubordinate to their spouses. The protagonist is one such woman; her writing denounces her highly active imagination and the surreptitious persistence of her writing denounces her matrimonial and feminine disobedience which were considered radical in her contemporary society. Gilman expresses the suppression felt by women from societal scrutiny to be one of “strangling”, through the narrator, who in one instance describes the wallpaper pattern like so: “it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads… the pattern strangles them off and
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman is seen descending into severe post-partum depression, and eventually madness. While this story and the woman herself can be analyzed through many different lenses of perspective, one lens which may not be seen often is how the woman is a hero, but a failed one at that. The narrator and main character of “The Yellow Wallpaper” can be determined as a kind of failed hero through an archetypal lens of analysis, which identifies her initiation, her quest, and the sacrificial scapegoat of the situation. Every hero needs some sort of start, with harrowing conditions, which metamorphoses them into an actual hero. Any hero’s initiation can be broken down into three parts consisting of the disconnection which sets them apart as someone whose storyline is worthy to be followed, their evolution as an individual, and their homecoming as a hero.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was not just an author but a great feminist. Gillam inspired countless women to seek indecency with her work like "The Yellow Wallpaper." The story is a fictionalized short story of a woman who is descending into madness while dealing with her mental illness and cannot heal due to her husband 's lack of belief. At the same time, the woman also known as the narrator feels imprisoned in her marriage. The story takes place during a time were women and had no independence and were not able to voice their own opinion.
In 1892 Charlotte Perkins Gilman published her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, in which the unnamed main character who has been diagnosed with neurasthenia is prescribed the rest cure by her physician husband. Her husband, John, takes her to an estate out in the country where she is isolated from everyone but her husband and his sister, and is ordered to do absolutely nothing but rest for the entire time they are there. The story follows this woman’s decent into madness as a result of the rest cure and total social isolation. In this story, Gilman uses her setting and characters to explore both the culture’s anger over the oppression and disregard of women and the fear over the beginning of the first feminist movement. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is set in a mansion out in the country that has been rented by the main character and her husband for the purpose of carrying out her rest cure (Gilman 489).
It is evident that change is a natural component in the average person’s life. Some however, are more drastic than others. This is exhibited through the first-person narrator of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wall Paper”, who undergoes a drastic change in her health due to postpartum depression, her relationships with the individuals around her, and her isolation. These changes later develop an internal conflict in the form of a troubling identity plight. Due to the famous rest treatment in which the narrator is told to follow, her interactions with other individuals is severely limited.
Until the end of time, women will find themselves asking, “What is one to do?”. This could be in the context of an abusive relationship, having children, choosing a job career, or any turning point in her life. Naturally, women are nurturers and will put others before themselves and for this reason it is a timeless question. In a short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the main character finds herself asking this question frequently. The story follows a young woman suffering from post-partum depression and is placed on “rest cure” by her husband.
Throughout history, race and sex had always been topics of discussion among people, and many have been poorly treated based on their color and sex rather than their actions. The Yellow Wallpaper is not an exception to this, as describes the oppression society gives to women around the Victorian Era. The narrator, who is never truly mentioned by name, has been trapped on the top floor of a mansion in a nursery-like room where she can only sleep and eat. She keeps a journal around and writes down whenever she is alone to prevent her husband from taking her only source of entertainment away since at the time women could not write nor be smarter than men. John believes, because he is the best physician in the county, that he knows exactly what
Locked away in a single room throughout the entirety of the story, the protagonist of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” seems to be the epitome of the struggles that a numerous amount of women had to face in the late eighteen hundreds. Many readers consider this from a psychological standpoint where the protagonist is suffering from a mental illness of sorts. However, it is evident that the author was writing from a feminist standpoint. Gilman was writing about her own opinion on gender roles in her time or even about her own experiences in a male dominated society. These feminist ideas of Gilman are expressed through the actions and decisions that John made throughout the story, the whirling thoughts of the protagonist, and
Barth, Melissa E.”The Yellow Wallpaper.” Masterplots: Short Story Series, Revised Edition. 2004. Literary Reference Center . Web. 26 June 2017 Melissa E. Barth article “The Yellow Wallpaper Masterplots: Short Story Series” focuses mainly around the themes and meanings of the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.This source was obtained from a reliable source, Literary Reference Center.
Charlotte Perkins Stetson’s, The Yellow Wall-Paper, was written and set in the 1890s and is frequently attributed as a feminist short story. Stetson gives an intimate glimpse into the mind of a woman who, because of her experiences and treatment in a patriarchal social system, slowly descends into insanity. This was achieved through the use of Stetson’s personal account along with her feministic views which led to a story embodying symbolism of the hardships that women of this period faced. Sometimes it can difficult to determine the inspiration behind a story, but in the case of Charlotte Perkins Stetson’s short story, The Yellow Wall-Paper, it was inspired by her own personal experiences. According to Lone Star College, Stetson lived in