As human beings, we play the cards that are dealt to us in this world. In life, every person goes through their individual ups and downs and occasionally may break down to the extent of not knowing what to do with oneself. In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” which takes place in the late 1800s, focuses on the first person narrator who is an infatuated woman. The disheartening story concentrates on a woman who is suffering from postpartum depression, and as well had mental breakdowns. The narrators husband John, moves her into a home isolated in the country where he wants her to “rest” and get better from her illness. During the course of being confined in the room with the wallpaper, she learns new things and finally may have an understanding
...e, women are the weaker of the two sexes. Women are slaves and spoils of war, if they are valued for sex they are used for sex. The universal portrayal of women causes a reevaluation of modern day gender balances by the reader.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story told from the first person point of view of a doctor's wife who has nervous condition. The first person standpoint gives the reader access only to the woman’s thoughts, and thus, is limited. The limited viewpoint of this story helps the reader to experience a feeling of isolation, just as the wife feels throughout the story. The point of view is also limited in that the story takes places in the present, and as a result the wife has no benefit of hindsight, and is never able to actually see that the men in her life are part of the reason she never gets well. This paper will discuss how Gilman’s choice of point of view helps communicate the central theme of the story- that women of the time were viewed as being subordinate to men. Also, the paper will discuss how ignoring oneself and one’s desires is self-destructive, as seen throughout the story as the woman’s condition worsens while she is in isolation, in the room with the yellow wallpaper, and her at the same time as her thoughts are being oppressed by her husband and brother.
During the early 19th century and prior, women were hyper-sexualized as mediocre and suppressed by the male population. Men demanded authority by defining female roles and responsibilities in society. Although all women of time paid the price for male egotistical behaviors, mainly the middle and sometimes upper class were affected. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s critically acclaimed story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, first published in the New England Magazine, in January 1892, is a narrative study of Gilman's own nervousness (Smith). The story analyzes the injustices women faced at the hands of their husbands. The main character is diagnosed with postpartum depression, a type of depression that develops in some women after birthing a baby; and she is put on the resting cure for the summer. Gilman, like the narrator of her story, sought medical help from the famous neurologist, Dr. Weir Mitchell but receive no useful help. Gilman writes of the woman trapped by her husband’s commands when he locks her in a room, forbidden to raise her children because of her “extreme condition” (Gilman 792). The unnamed protagonist remains locked in the room upstairs for weeks, progressively getting worse because she is forced to take prescribed medicine every hour of each day (Gilman 794). She begins to scrutinize the aging and repulsive yellow wallpaper of her room and grows clinically insane as each day passes way. Gilman uses this story to critique the position of women within the institution of marriage, especially as practiced by the respectable classes of the period.
In the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the protagonist starts out pondering the beautiful sight of a mansion and wonders how she and her husband were able to afford it. As the short story progresses, the narrator is forced to be isolated, because of her mental condition, in a room that used to be a nursery . Her husband, a physician, believes that the treatment for her “depression” is very little activity and no writing. The narrator manages to keep a secret journal. In time, she is bothered by the yellow wallpaper in the room. She concludes that it looks like a woman trapped in a cage and realizes that her own sense of feeling is trapped by her husband. An analysis of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman through the biographical, feminist, historical, and psychoanalytic lenses suggests that the text is really about the negative impact on women’s mental capacity forced by men during the 19th century.
A story of feminism told through the eyes of a depressed manic, is shown within the text of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Gilman was inspired to write the story upon her diagnosis of depression, which sent her into a manic state, and by the request of her doctor was put on bed rest (A&E, 2011). However, this only motivated Gilman to pursue her writing as an attempt to recover and in turn “The Yellow Wallpaper” was created. During the 19th century, the time of which the story was written, women were expected to play the role of a wife and mother and society did not tolerate anything otherwise (American Literature, 1998). “The Yellow Wallpaper” demonstrates the struggle for power, search for persona, and the escape from reality of a female manic. In order to understand the narrator’s terrors of the phobia, the events in the story are told in chronological order to allow for the reader to experience the disease first hand. The first person protagonist narrative puts the reader in the shoes of a manic. Demonstration is shown by the first person protagonist that suggests the woman is inferior to her husband, through the first person’s interpretation of the woman in the wallpaper and within the chronological order of events that the personified wallpaper ’s progression of state symbolizes the development of the disease.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the author of the short story The Yellow Wall-Paper, wrote a story with a focus on mental illness; while doing so she began a feminist revolution in the late 19th century. The narrator, Jane, is attempting to break free from society’s patriarchal ideals and begins to carve a path for women of the future. While the narrator of the story may not have fully escaped, her efforts mark an act of martyrdom for women’s rights and freedom during this era.
Women roles have changed drastically in the last 50 to 80 years, women no longer have to completely conform to society’s gender roles and now enjoy the idea of being individuals. Along with the evolution of women roles in society, women presence and acceptance have drastically grown in modern literature. In early literature it was common to see women roles as simply caretakers, wives or as background; women roles and ideas were nearly non-existent and was rather seen than heard. The belief that women were more involved in the raising of children and taking care of the household was a great theme in many early literatures; women did not get much credit for being apart of the frontier and expansion of many of the nations success until much later.
When first reading the gothic feminist tale, “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, one might assume this is a short story about a women trying to save her sanity while undergoing treatment for postpartum depression. Gilman herself had suffered post-natal depression and was encouraged to undergo the “rest cure” to cure her hysteria. The treatment prescribed to Gilman resulted in her having a very similar experience as the narrator in the short story. The “perfect rest” (648), which consisted of forced bed rest and isolation sparked the inspiration for “The Yellow Wallpaper.” This story involving an unreliable narrator, became an allegory for repression of women. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Gilman illustrates the seclusion and oppression of women in the nineteenth century society by connecting the female imprisonment, social and mental state, and isolation to the objects in and around the room.
The Yellow Wallpaper, Written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is comprised as an assortment of journal entries written in first person, by a woman who has been confined to a room by her physician husband who he believes suffers a temporary nervous depression, when she is actually suffering from postpartum depression. He prescribes her a “rest cure”. The woman remains anonymous throughout the story. She becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper that surrounds her in the room, and engages in some outrageous imaginations towards the wallpaper. Gilman’s story depicts women’s struggle of independence and individuality at the rise of feminism, as well as a reflection of her own life and experiences.