The narrator of this short story was driven mad by the wallpaper that surrounded her in this room. The yellow wallpaper, with its strange, formless pattern, disturbed her. Throughout this short story the author used a variety of symbols and themes such was the role of women, the role taken after childbirth, the Yellow Wallpaper itself, and the journal. All of these examples give proof that the narrator wanted not to be trapped behind bars, but to be free and live her life. To begin with, the most important theme that comes into play is the role of women during this decade.
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman suffering from postpartum depression is prescribed a “rest cure”. She is forced to stay in a room with yellow wallpaper which She says is “committing every artistic sin” (Gilman 419). The woman convinces herself that there is a woman trapped in the yellow wallpaper, and it is her job to free and catch her. She begins to mix reality with fantasy and she unknowingly becomes suicidal and drives herself mad. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” uses dialogue, narration, and symbolism to show that women are not taken seriously when it comes to mental health.
Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper The Room itself represents the author’s unconscious protective cell that has encased her mind, represented by the woman, for a very long time. This cell is slowly deteriorating and losing control of her thoughts. I believe that this room is set up as a self-defense mechanism when the author herself is put into the asylum. She sets this false wall up to protect her from actually becoming insane and the longer she is in there the more the wall paper begins to deteriorate. This finally leads to her defense weakening until she is left with just madness and insanity.
Every night she lies awake and looks at her cell of a room as her eyes roam around the wallpaper. At the beginning she hates the wallpaper but becomes infatuated with it as the woman continues to try to get out. “ ‘nobody could climb through that pattern it strangles so…strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their eyes white’… If this can be seen as a metaphor of women’s oppression and death in the limited domestic space” (Fanghui). The woman could end up feeling useless, “suffocated” (Fanghui), and so closed off and commit suicide. The restraints used against her could be her downfall.
At first sight she describes the wallpaper as, “[o]ne of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin,” (Gilman 648) declaring she had “…never saw a worse paper in [her] life.” Although her husband strictly forbids her to journal, Jane, continues to confide to her journal writing, “…this is dead paper and a great relief to [her] mind…” (Gilman 647). As the story progresses Jane writes that she is getting much worse and so does her fixation with the yellow wallpaper. She spends much time alone in this room with barred windows and bolted furniture. The confinement she is experiencing leads her to begin hallucinating a creeping woman through the wallpaper. As a creative woman Jane falls into her demise due to lack of mental stimulation slowly but surely her obsession takes over and the yellow wallpaper is all she looks forward to.
Since the matrons of the sanatorium will not let her contact her husband, the bond that she has found with him is disconnected. She has only herself on whom to rely. The other inmates are completely insane and are useless to aid her in her escape. Maria is not strong enough to leave herself. When the doctor tells her that she is not able to call or leave because she is insane, sh... ... middle of paper ... ...and eventually hunts Ralph.
Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman The "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman is a great story about the repression of women in the late 1800's but is still representative of issues faced by women today. She writes from her own personal experiences and conveys a message that sometimes in a male dominated society women suffer from the relentless power that some men implement over women. The narrator is suffering from a mild depression that her physician husband has prescribed complete bed rest in order for her to recover. During their summer vacation, she is confined to a room at the top of the house where she can see the world passing her by day in and day out. Her brother who is also a physician concurs with her husband's prescription leaving her with no option but to succumb to the torment of being left alone in the room with the yellow wallpaper.
. . n.p.). It nearly drove her insane. She began to recover only when she returned to her art and writing, and subsequently wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" to alert others to the perils of the rest cure and its attempt to stifle creativity.
This was described as the 'rest' cure. Stetson had always been a very creative person and so she felt stunted by her husband's prescribed cure. She said later on in her life that this 'cure' was so bad that she was left to live a 'crippled life'. She wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" to show how 'destructive such attitudes to women could be.' So this story was most certainly written about Charlotte Perkins Gilman's own personal experience.
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.