Intriguing things such as madness, hallucinations, paranoia, and depression are all traits that make a story memorable and interesting. However, there is more than just madness contained in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Through the use of an unnamed narrator, Gilman depicts how women of her time were trapped by social barriers.
The story of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman is the story of a woman who is mentally ill. She is being taken care of by her husband who is a doctor. They have just moved into a new house where she has her own room. Her room is only a bed that is nailed to the floor, and the room is covered in a gaudy and strange yellow wallpaper.After moving into the room the woman, who is also the narrator of the story, starts to see very strange things. She believes that there is a woman trying to escape from the wallpaper. She also starts to see other women “creeping” around the walkways outside. The narrator is disturbed by the wallpaper, and she has the urge to tear it all down. As she begins to tear it down her husband scolds her not to tear it down as to not give in to every whim that she has. As she proceeds to tear down the wallpaper, against her husband’s wishes, she believes that she is releasing the woman that is trapped inside of the wallpaper. The story ends with the woman’s husband breaking down the door to find her creeping around the wallpaperless room. After witnessing this the husband proceeds to faint as the wife continues to creep around the room.
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. In the process, Quawas offers a deeper interpretation of the main character decline into madness and how the direct identification of the narrator with the wallpaper brings many underlying symbols that lie within the story. “The narrator is torn asunder between her own personal feelings, which are indeed healthy and positive, and the patriarchal society's view of what is proper and decent behaviour for women. Since she has internalized society's expectations of women, this conflict is felt as a schizoid within herself” (Quawas, 44). This supporting evidence helps give bigger insight of a deeper meaning to the correlation of insanity and symbols in the actual
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, through expressive word choice and descriptions, allows the reader to grasp the concepts she portrays and understand the way her unnamed narrator feels as the character draws herself nearer and nearer to insanity. “The Yellow Wallpaper” begins with the narrator writing in a journal about the summer home she and her husband have rented while their home is being remodeled. In the second entry, she mentions their bedroom which contains the horrendous yellow wallpaper. After this, not one day goes by when she doesn’t write about the wallpaper. She talks about the twisting, never-ending pattern; the heads she can see hanging upside-down as if strangled by it; and most importantly the
Imagery in literature brings a story to life for the reader. It draws the reader in and surrounds them with the environment of the narrative. The use of imagery will make the reader fully understand the circumstances under which the characters of a story live. In "The Yellow Wallpaper", by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator of the story often describes the wallpaper, each time giving more details. The vivid descriptions allow the reader into the psyche of the narrator, which illustrates her ever-deepening mental illness. The imagery presented in the wallpaper through the narrator's words show her descent into insanity coupled with her desire for independence.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator describes things in the room, which in way, is a symbol of male dominance in the story. The main symbolism in the story is the wallpaper. For example the horrid yellow that is on the walls represents her “illness” or depression issues diagnosed by her husband. However, the vulgar yellow wallpaper pattern shows the restrictions the narrator believed she was enforced too. During her time in the room the narrator creates an imaginative woman inside the wallpaper representing her and other women in society who are also trapped by the male-centric society. The woman in the wallpaper is trapped behind bars and shakes them violently as the narrator explains to escape from them.
Described as an “autobiographical account fictionalized in the first person,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” chronicles the narrator as she is brought to a country house and put on rest cure, instructed by her physician husband to live in a room with yellow wallpaper (“The Yellow Wallpaper”). Throughout her stay there, the narrator appears to develop a sort of hysteria and falls into a deeper depression than when she arrived.
Also, he restricted her right of getting a job for her poor condition, which is another type of isolation from society. The narrator thought of herself in a society that women are kept from existing beyond the house. She begins to think of her situation the room and looked at the yellow wallpaper, which scared her. She found it unpleasant, and started to build a pattern of a woman behind this wallpaper, which makes her fixate. The obsession of the surroundings makes her feels like she is trapped in wallpaper. She isolated herself from her husband and lock the door behind her and starts scratching and peeling the yellow wallpaper to liberate the woman behind the wallpaper, which can be described as herself behind the wallpaper. The faded yellow wallpaper represented to the narrator as criticism and harsh, that believes that is trapped behind the wallpaper or behind bars. The narrator tells us about the yellow wallpaper, “It sticks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it! All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision!”(Gilman 963). That makes her feel like she becomes one with the women in the
“The Yellow Wallpaper” tells the story of a woman who is trapped in a room covered in yellow wallpaper. The story is one that is perplexing in that the narrator is arguably both the protagonist as well as the antagonist. In the story, the woman, who is the main character, struggles with herself indirectly which results in her descent into madness. The main conflicts transpires between the narrator and her husband John who uses his power as a highly recognize male physician to control his wife by placing limitations on her, forcing her to behave as a sick woman. Hence he forced himself as the superior in their marriage and relationship being the sole decision make. Therefore it can be said what occurred externally resulted in the central conflict of” “The Yellow Wallpaper being internal. The narrator uses the wallpaper as a symbol of authenticy. Hence she internalizes her frustrations rather then openly discussing them.
From the beginning of time in America women have been expected to speak when spoken to and obey the men in their lives. This thinking is especially true in the time period in which The Yellow Wallpaper was written. In 1892, women were silent and stayed at home. When a woman could not fulfill her roles, she was deemed crazy. The main character in this short story is said to be taking a period of bed rest in order to help cure her mind. The author of this short story, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, went through a similar diagnosis when she experienced post-partum depression and refused to hold her baby. It is unclear exactly why the protagonist is sent away, but it is clear that she does not agree with the way she is being treated. The narrator’s