However, the narrator’s condition heighten and in response starts to see images of faces in the wallpaper of her room. The boredom and seclusion of this medicine only allowed her mind to endeavor farther down a path of insanity. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses the wallpaper and the relationship of the couple to expose the narrator’s confinement forced by the husband to lead her to insanity. The story starts off with the narrator’s depiction of the physically enclosing aspects around her that has a great affect on her health throughout the story. The couple moves to a house, which symbolizes security.
The theme of feminism is exposed by the main characters use of language, her feelings of inferiority, mental struggles, and anger. The language of the narrator in this story is repressive to women, from the beginning and all the way to the end of the story. In the beginning of the story, the language of the narrator appears in a few ways. The ill woman is forbidden by her husband to write in her journal until she is well, to compensate for the loss of work. She feels constricted by her husband to speak freely and writes in a hidden journal.
The narrator confides in “dead language” (Treichler) as a source to freely express herself from the captivity placed upon her from her husband in an attempt to cure her condition of temporary nervous depression. The dead language represents writing in the journal for the narrator of the story. It is considered dead as she must be secretive about it for the fear of her husband John finding her writing as “he hates to have [her] write a single word” (Gilman). The woman is forbidden to work as a result of her husband’s treatment for her condition. He does not want her practicing discourse as he believes she is sick and her treatment is to be alienated from work, life, and writing to cure her condition.
In literature, women are often depicted as weak, compliant, and inferior to men. The nineteenth century was a time period where women were repressed and controlled by their husband and other male figures. Charlotte Gilman, wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper," showing her disagreement with the limitations that society placed on women during the nineteenth century. According to Edsitement, the story is based on an event in Gilman’s life. Gilman suffered from depression, and she went to see a physician name, Silas Weir Mitchell.
“The story examines one woman’s descent into madness due to inactivity.” She also states that it examines the struggles between marriage and career, social expectations and personal goals. The story is about a woman being trapped in her marriage, she’s trying free herself. The narrator ends up going insane because she’s forbidden to write the only thing she can do is rest. The struggle between marriage and career is that John is her husband and her doctor. During the story he’s trying to cure her depression and doesn’t act much like her husband as he does her doctor.
This gender division meritoriously kept women in a childlike state of obliviousness and prevented them from reaching any scholastic or professional goals. John, the narrator’s husband, establishes a treatment for his wife through the assumption of his own superior wisdom and maturity. This narrow minded thinking leads him to patronize and control his wife, all in the name of “helping her”. The narrator soon begins to feel suffocated as she is “physically and emotionally trapped by her husband” (Korb). The narrator has zero control in the smallest details of her life and is consequently forced to retreat into her fantasies... ... middle of paper ... ...at the narrator will possibly be physically restrained or imprisoned at some point when her husband regains consciousness.
Because her husband, John, does not take her illness seriously and neglects to get her out of the house, her mind cannot take it and she loses her sanity. It should be clear to the reader, since she thinks she and the imaginary woman has worked together to pull the wallpaper down that she believes the women in the yellow wallpaper and she are both trapped and are both working together to escape. (200) Likewise, when she tells John, “I got out at last”, and, “in spite of you and jane! And I pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back”, By her saying this to John tells you she thinks she is free, because she has torn down the yellow wallpaper. She is no longer saying anything about a woman being in the wallpaper, because in her mind, she is now the
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s powerful story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, is about a woman who was driven to madness by her depression and controlling husband. The story is told by the wife, in first person, and is based on Gilman’s own life experience. Gilman suffered from post-partum depression after her daughter was born and was prescribed the “resting cure” which is resting and isolation. In the story, the narrator’s husband puts her in isolation because he believes that will cure her of her depression and breakdowns. He won’t let her do anything, so she turns to writing in her secret journal to try and cure her depression.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s narrative entitled “The Yellow Wallpaper” portrays a nameless wife who gradually descends into psychosis due to a prescribed treatment of the time known as the “rest cure.” Gilman’s work is an excellent example of feminine oppression so prominent in the late nineteenth century. Women of the period were considered the weaker sex. They were at the will of their husbands who made decisions concerning all aspects of life, including medical treatments, living arrangements and social activities. The intellectual stagnation and oppression of the narrator can be directly linked to her downward spiral into madness. The uses of literary elements in the story help demonstrate this theory.
It represents the psychological block that society attempts to place on women during the 1800’s. The color distinct color yellow is connected with sickness and weakness which displays the gender differences of how society sees women as weak and men inferior. The wallpaper in fact makes the main character feel “sick” as the short story develops. As a matter of fact, the wallpaper draws a line between insanity and sanity that the narrator faces. Quawas offers honest insight and advice on “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and its symbolic significance that is portrayed throughout the short story.