Charlotte Perkins Gilman Expresses Her Beliefs Through The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman Expresses Her Beliefs Through The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

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The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is one of the most interesting and disturbed characters of any story that I have ever read. She is never given a name and she changes throughout the story, giving us no consistent character. This story is a representation of how being locked up and controlled can affect the way someone thinks and feels. The narrator is presented as a normal person at the beginning, but we quickly find out that she has many problems that only worsen and affect everyone around her. The author indirectly tells her personal feelings and story through the narrator who stands for her and women of that time.
As the story begins, the narrator tells of how she and her husband, John, are moving into an ancestral summer home. She describes it as a grand and beautiful home but also says she has a weird feeling about it. She then says she has a “nervous depression” and her husband, who is a doctor, will not take her seriously. This is the first hint of her having a troubled life and in the 1890’s, no one understood mental illness, much less knew how to treat it. The social norms of these times allowed her husband to be a domineering figure, therefore she has almost no control over her situation. He seems to make all of the decisions for her and makes her feel belittled and irritated. Being her physician gives him the ability and power to tell her that nothing is wrong with her, and he basically does not take her seriously, which only makes her mental health get worse.
John prescribes rest for her and places her into a room which is covered in yellow wallpaper that she finds repulsive. One thing that is very important is how the room used to be a nursery. This is ironic because she is almost treated as a...

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...tor represented the author in this story, and shared all of her problems, albeit in a worse way. Can we actually trust all that the narrator says, considering she is insane? There are many questions left unanswered throughout the story, and that keeps the narrator from ever becoming a personable character. In the era in which this story was written, the obstacles that she faced were nearly impossible, whether that was because of ignorance or just simply unknowing. She is seen as a sympathetic character because of her many woes, and how no one would help her outside of locking her in a room. As her mind slowly deteriorates, the story becomes less and less real, and more of her own imagination. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was able to convey her emotions and her own situation through the narrator, who without a name, represented a large portion of women at that time.

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