In the “The Yellow Wall-paper,” the author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, writes about a struggling mentally ill woman, named Jane, trying to work through her individuality and her own depression. This story is centered around her bedroom, her mental state, and the yellow wall-paper on the walls in her room. The reader can easily feel the pain, anguish, despair, and struggles of a woman going through a depressive state. Gilman writes about the individual succession of the woman’s mental state through the disarray of the patterned yellow wall-paper. The theme of feminism is exposed by the main characters use of language, her feelings of inferiority, mental struggles, and anger.
Interpretation of “The Yellow Wallpaper” Domineering and neglectful spouse causes his wife to lose her sanity. This is a story about how a woman’s arrogant husband drives her to insanity by forcing her to spend so much time alone. After spending months in her bedroom looking at yellow wallpaper which she despises, her imagination begins taking over her mind. She believes a woman is trapped inside of it. By the end of the story she actually thinks she is the woman who had been trapped in the wallpaper and has finally escaped from it.
Everyone at some point in their life has felt like they were almost driven crazy by someone or something. This is the case for the main character in Charlotte Perkins Stetson’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. During this story, the protagonist is locked in a room in which she despises simply because of the wallpaper. As the story progresses, she starts to notice figures that seem to be trapped in the wallpaper. I firmly believe that the figures that seem to be trapped in the wallpaper not only represent the main character’s struggles, but also other woman who have suffered the horrible mistreatment of mental illness and women that were subject to punishment for trying to break out of their domestic spheres.
The setting of the room symbolizes the loneliness the narrator is undergoing. The narrator has her mind encased that there is a woman struggling and in her solitary room, she feels its true and she is even seen fighting for her. The author used the room to symbolize what the main character was going through all alone in the isolated estate where she was brought by her husband. The yellow paper played a distinct reason for the narrator’s madness. In her writings, she explains that the more she became insane, the more the wall paper became a big issue to her that is why she smudged ultimately.
Subsequently, Jane discovers the woman behind the wallpaper, who only she can see. This woman symbolizes herself in that she is stuck with her mental illness and confined to her home, just as the "woman" is confined to the wallpaper. She writes, "So I told him that I really was not gaining here, and that I wished he would take me away." (Gilman 9); she feels trapped in the house just as the woman does behind the wallpaper, and begins to feel as if she is that woman. So when she finally eliminates the yellow wallpaper, she (as the trapped woman or hallucination) feels like she has been released and has a new freedom from John and Jane (herself).
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. During that time, Mental illness and depression was not generally understood. Outspoken women were diagnosed with "hysteria" and put on bed rest. The woman gradually goes insane when she is put on bed rest for all hours of everyday. It is a criticism of a medical practice that was created solely for women, which is one reason for it being considered a feminist story.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” to express her opinions about feminism and originality. Gilman does so by taking the reader through the terrors of one woman's psychological disorder, her entire mental state characterized by her encounters with the wallpaper in her room. She incorporates imagery and symbolism to show how confined the narrator is because of her gender and mental illness. Gilman incorporates strong imagery throughout "The Yellow Wallpaper" to set the scene for the story and foreshadow the certain madness that is to come of the narrator. As the story progresses, so does the woman's declining mental status.
In her alone time, the narrator focuses on the wallpaper and it drives her to insanity as she sees and image and works to free the woman she sees. The isolation the narrator faces plays with her mind and makes her go crazy. The alone time was supposed to help with the narrator’s illness but in turn it only makes the situation worse. Works Cited A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Women have been taught that they are inferior to men and because of this, many have developed low self-esteem and mental illnesses. Depriving one of many basic rights while also telling them that they are the lesser gender can severely damage one psychologically. Charlotte Perkins Gilman challenged the mental abuse towards women in her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Perkins Gilman highlighted how men and even other women made women out to be lesser creatures than men. The main character, Jane, is pent up in a room by the hands of her husband and brother to “cure” her. She is looked after by her sister-in-law, Jeannie, and after being confined and not allowed to do anything productive, her sanity breaks.
The comparison between the reality world and the imaginary world is a present in many of the stories we have read this semester, in particular Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”. In the Gilman’s work, the reader sees a troubled woman who has an internal struggle, but projects it onto a hideous wallpaper. It is evident that the protagonist is suffering from some form of mental illness, but she also suffers from the lack of attention ended to help her condition. Throughout the story, the protagonist’s mental health continues to deteriorate until she can no longer distinguish reality from her imagination. Living in one’s own imagination can bring disastrous results to one’s actual reality, but imagination is not the true evil one.