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Short Story Essay

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The short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman focuses on a young woman’s psychological downfall and her fascination with the wallpaper within the house she and her husband are living in. The woman begins to believe that the wallpaper is coming alive, which leads her to become confused with reality and fantasy. Gilman selects the crazed woman as the narrator of the story. Furthermore, Gilman uses first person point of view to effectively convey the woman’s emotions and feelings during her mental decline.
Gilman begins the story with the narrator describing her and her husband’s vacation home and then her illness. The woman adores the house, but also has an eerie feeling about the hose. Gilman provides the woman’s insight of the house, she describes it as “a colonial mansion, a hereditary estate” (238). Gilman also states that she would call it a “haunted house and [the house would] reach the height of romantic felicity- but that would be asking too much of fate” (238). The description foreshadows both the delight and turmoil the house will bring into the narrator’s life. The narrator will admire its beauty, while the house will also lead to her mental breakdown and ultimately her insanity. Furthermore, Gilman informs the audience that the woman is severely sick; however her “husband, assures friends and relatives that there is nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression” (238). Gilman’s selection of first person point of view provides the audience with information pertaining to the woman’s true feelings towards the house and her illness.
As the story progresses, narrator’s illness worsens. Gilman states her “nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing” and her husband does not know how...

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...short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman uses first person point of view to allow her audience to completely connect with the young woman during her mental deterioration. The chosen point of view allows readers to know the woman’s deepest secrets, emotions, and beliefs. Through Gilman’s descriptions of the house, the wallpaper, and the narrator’s depression, it is shown that the narrator loses her connection with reality after moving into the house. The house’s wallpaper resulted in the narrator’s imagination spiraling out of control and her treatment failing. Without Gilman’s use of first person point of view, her exact cause of the woman’s insanity would be a mystery and never truly understood.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. "The Yellow Wallpaper." Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 2011. 237-251. Print.
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