The Plot Line In The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In most narratives there is usually a protagonist, antagonist and plot line in which we follow and either believe the speaker or disagree with them; no matter the case, we form a solid opinion based on the progression of the plot. However, in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, there is an automatic problem with the plot line of the story. Is it believable and can we trust the speaker? What is the true nature of why the author wrote the story? The point of the plot line is to understand the progression of mental illness, not to read a narrative about moving wallpapers; it isn’t to try and tell whether the woman is stable enough to be trusted with a possible plot line. From the beginning of the short story she claims that she…show more content…
It tells the story of a woman who lives secluded in mind, body, and soul for about three months in what is a “hereditary estate” (Gilman 462) , but how she portrays to the reader as “a haunted mansion” (Gilman 463). Extremely unhappy in her current situation (a suffering woman who nobody believes is truly ill), she escapes through her writing. Having to keep her passion of writing a secret and hiding it from her husband, housekeeper, family and friends, the story has untold endings to her thoughts due to the abrupt arrival of unexpected guests. The diary helps us to see the quick, spiraling downfall and eventual breakdown of an unstable woman whose isolation from society may have encouraged her imminent disease. Through quickly written journal entries, the audience can see the unfolding of the unstable woman. This enlarges the view of the narrative because it helps show a plot line of the progression of an illness (which is the theme as a whole of the…show more content…
This short story can be considered an impossible narrative due to its unstable plot line with an erratic main character who 's mental instability causes the reader to question the true meaning and validity of the short story. Lots of narratives evolve with plot lines that are not as erratic as “The Yellow Wallpaper” is. The main character is so irrational and her diary becomes more and more precarious the longer she stays secluded in the yellow wallpaper room. She nearly becomes obsessed and “angry enough to do something desperate” (Gilman 473) — suicide. However, after quickly contemplating jumping out of the window, she realizes suicide would be too “improper and might be misconstrued” (Gilman 473) (an example of social context in the story of how she would rather suffer than kill herself because the time period she lived in would look down upon such a
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