Gilman does so by t... ... middle of paper ... ...she sees in the wallpaper is trapped behind the pattern, just like the narrator is trapped in the room. The woman’s mental status gets so deteriorated that she has a breaking point when she “escapes” her imprisonment. The author writes, “Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor” (320). Taking down the wallpaper symbolizes her finally freeing herself. Charlotte Gilman accomplishes her goal of spreading awareness about the oppression of women by forcing the readers to dig deep into The Yellow Wallpaper.
The protagonist believes that there is a woman trapped by the wall, and that this woman only moves at night with the night light. The allusion to this light is not in the beginning of the story, but in the end. “She begins to strip of the wallpaper at every opportunity in order to free the woman she perceives is trapped inside. Paranoid by now, the narrator attempts to disguise her obsession with the wallpaper.” (Knight, p.81) In the description of the yellow wallpaper and what is seen behind it there are sinister implications that symbolize the closure of the woman. It implies that any intellectual activity is a deviation from their duties as a housewife.
The wallpaper is a symbol of the domestic life that traps so many women. The narrator is eventually driven mad because of her lack of independence." I did write for a while in spite of them ; but it does exhaust me a good deal having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition" her husband won’t even allow her to write that’s how controlling he is. The narrator studies the wall trying to figure out what the woman is doing. The pattern clearly represents prison bars.
The insanity is rooted in the narrator's inability to fall easily into that mould. Gilman's descriptions of the wallpaper are really eloquent delineations of the restrictions and constraints placed upon women. In short, the wallpaper is what all proper women are supposed to be; the narrator is one woman who is unable to adapt and, hence, she becomes a lunatic. The narrator's first description of the wallpaper puts forth most plainly what the nature of women is believed to be: "dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they . .
John continues to underline her depressive illness, and more importantly she is now completely under the false illusion of the yellow wallpaper. Its patterns, structure, smell, and basic fixture fascinates her to the point of obsession and insanity. As the narrator examines the wallpaper she starts to fixate on the pattern which seems to be basic, however, she starts seeing a woman behind bars. (Gothic and the Female Voice…) In her own mind this woman is trapped and wants out like a prisoner behind bars struggling for her freedom. Although the woman behind bars is not real, she can relate to pattern.
During the 19th century, women were controlled by a male dominated society. The women were in pure agony knowing that there was no faith for them to have a crucial change in civilization. This could often lead to “clinical depression” in which a human could feel lonely, empty, confounded and miserable. In this time period, women’s role in society was to be simply mothers and wives. A world where women had rights, control, and power was a fantasy.
The yellow wallpaper is symbolic of a women’s place in society within the nineteenth century. It was not commonplace, or deemed acceptable, for women to be financially independent and/or engage in intellectual activity. The wallpaper is symbolic of those economic, intellectual, and social restrictions women were held to, as well as the domestic lives they were expected to lead. The narrator is so restricted by these social norms that her proper name is never given within the story, her only identity is “John’s wife”. At the climax of the story, the narrator identifies completely with the woman in the wallpaper and believes that by tearing the wallpaper, both she and the woman would be freed of their domestic prisons, “…there are so many of those
The narrator in the story is the woman with postpartum depression, and as she is slipping away from reality she starts to become an unreliable source. The woman starts assuming the situation that she has no tangible evidence. “No wonder the children hated it!” she talks as if children really did stay in the room with the yellow wallpaper, and she knows they hated the room for a fact (Gilman 419). The woman also starts to say that those same children made marks such as the “smooch” and the “bedstead is fairly gnawed” (Gilman 425-427). She wonders what has happened to make those marks, but the narrator soon reveals that she “can creep smoothly on the floor, and her shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall…” and “I got angry so I bit off a little piece at one corner” (Gilman 427-428).
She starts to see a trapped woman in the wallpaper. The woman’s obsession over the wallpaper and imprisonment in the room causes her to lose her mind. She has fallen victim to her madness in her desire to let the woman out the wallpaper. Her husband faints upon seeing what she has become. The woman and her oppressive husband’s relationship are that of prisoner and warden.
There is a fine between crazy and desperate, but what would be considered seeing a woman beyond the walls, a cry for help or just pure insanity. In the narrative “ The yellow wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, an unnamed, wife and mother in the 1800’s is diagnosed with temporary nervous depression. During this time, the cure for women was to be on bed rest, away from any form of stress. Therefore, the narrator’s husband takes her to an isolated estate in the country, where is is cut off from everything she loves, but she secretly writes to keep herself sane. Unfortunately as the story progresses, the writing fails to save her and the narrator’s illness becomes more visible, and more serious.