“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story that surrounds many different topics. The narrator is living in a time period where women were looked down upon and mental illnesses were misunderstood. The narrator of the story suffers from post-partum depression and is recording her journey in a journal. Her husband, the typical man at the time, put her on “the rest cure,” as he believed that mental illnesses should be treated like physical illnesses. He brings her to a house far away from other people and makes her stay in the nursery.
"Monumental Feminism and Literature's Ancestral House: Another Look at 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" Women's Studies 12 (1986): 113-128. Johnson, Greg. "Gilman's Gothic Allegory: Rage and Redemption in 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" Studies in Short Fiction 26 (Fall 1989): 521-530.
"Gilman's Gothic Allegory: Rage and Redemption in 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" Studies in Short Fiction 26:4 (Fall 1989): 521-30. Treichler, Paula A. "Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 3:1-2 (Spring-Fall 1984): 61-77.
Scharnhorst, Gary. "'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Boston: Twayne, 1985. 15-20.
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).
(Gilman, 1899) After being put in what seems to be a nursery, the narrator becomes fixated on the yellow wallpaper that envelops the room. At first she describes it as meaningless and unimportant but soon she becomes obsessed with the shapes that begin to appear on the paper. John and his sister Jennie observe the narrator and think her condition is improving because of the rest she is getting and the fact that the narrator is not allowed to do anything that will induce more nervous behaviors. After her obsession with the wallpaper reaches a climax, the narrator locks herself in her room. She then begins to creep around the room, rubbing against t... ... middle of paper ... ...aper” was probably a shock for many people of this time period.
She has completely lost her mind to the yellow wallpaper and the only way she feels she can free herself is by ripping down the paper. At first glance, “The Yellow Wallpaper” seems to be a story of a woman who is merely ordered to rest in a room with hideous colored wallpaper trying to recover. However, this room transforms into her jail where her mind is left to wander and it begins to hallucinate all because of this simple paper. Each and every day her identity is slowly slipping away due to an inanimate object and she begins to lose her grasp on what is real. The human mind has the powerful ability to alter the perception of such a simple object and cause sanity to completely disappear.
The Yellow Wallpaper In the grips of depression and the restrictions prescribed by her physician husband a woman struggles with maintaining her sanity and purpose. As a new mother and a writer, and she is denied the responsibility and intellectual stimulation of these elements in her life as part of her rest cure. Her world is reduced to prison-like enforcement on her diet, exercise, sleep and intellectual activities until she is "well again". As she gives in to the restrictions and falls deeper into depression, she focuses on the wallpaper and slides towards insanity. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story written from a first-person perspective about a young woman's mental deterioration during the 1800's and the adverse affects of the restriction place on her.
Frankenstein: Creation and Monstrosity. NY: Reaktion Books, 1997. Print. Gigante, Denise. “Facing the Ugly: The Case of Frankenstein.” English Literary History 67.2 (2000): 565-87.