Professor John Hodgkins
March 1, 2016
Depiction of Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper
In the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” author Charlotte Perkins Gilman gives us a chance to see into the mind of a woman during the Victorian Era who is gradually becoming insane. Her insanity is incomprehensibly brought on by efforts made by her physician husband and brother to help restore her psychological well-being. Through out the story, the narrator is living a stereotypical lifestyle of a mother and a wife who is hindered and oppressed. This story portrays a time in society where women were dominated by men and not allowed to proclaim themselves the way men were allowed to. The narrator is also trapped in this common role and is not able to express herself creatively, in her case, through writing. She however, found that outlet through the wallpaper in her room. In this ironic yet compelling narrative, the narrator creates a subsequent self through the wallpaper in order to fulfill the loneliness and drive to regain control of her life that was brought on by a confining society. Gilman is saying by confining a woman, it will send her mad.
The woman behind the wallpaper is a second self of the narrator because the woman identifies with a lot of issues the narrator is going through herself. According to the narrator, “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one… and she is all time trying to climb through… I think that woman gets out in the daytime” (469). The narrator sometime sees only one woman behind the wallpaper that gets out during the daytime. This is ironic because the narrator husband, John is away at work during the daytime too. Giving her time to do what she wants...
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... realize she does not have to abide by anyone rules but her own.
In conclusion, by completely being absorbed by madness and letting herself go to the woman in the wallpaper, the narrator manages to free herself from any confinement. She eventually shows John that her condition is serious and he should have treated her like it was serious. Something was wrong with her, but instead he overlooked it. It took the cost of her own sanity to find herself. I find it interesting how a problem this serious was overlooked back then. Her wanting to think for herself and have her own mind, lead her husband to belief she had mental problems. She could not express herself, even by writing because he thought she only needed rest. She needed something as an outlet to get better and if there was not a limit to what she can do, she would have gotten better instead of going crazy.
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- Nandanie George Professor John Hodgkins English 352 March 1, 2016 Depiction of Madness in The Yellow Wallpaper In the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” author Charlotte Perkins Gilman gives us a chance to see into the mind of a woman during the Victorian Era who is gradually becoming insane. Her insanity is incomprehensibly brought on by efforts made by her physician husband and brother to help restore her psychological well-being. Through out the story, the narrator is living a stereotypical lifestyle of a mother and a wife who is hindered and oppressed.... [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]
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