The Yellow Wall-Paper

1303 Words6 Pages
In the “The Yellow Wall-paper,” the author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, writes about a struggling mentally ill woman, named Jane, trying to work through her individuality and her own depression. This story is centered around her bedroom, her mental state, and the yellow wall-paper on the walls in her room. The reader can easily feel the pain, anguish, despair, and struggles of a woman going through a depressive state. Gilman writes about the individual succession of the woman’s mental state through the disarray of the patterned yellow wall-paper. The theme of feminism is exposed by the main characters use of language, her feelings of inferiority, mental struggles, and anger. The language of the narrator in this story is repressive to women, from the beginning and all the way to the end of the story. In the beginning of the story, the language of the narrator appears in a few ways. The ill woman is forbidden by her husband to write in her journal until she is well, to compensate for the loss of work. She feels constricted by her husband to speak freely and writes in a hidden journal. Gilman writes “I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind” (808). Sad and true, but she doesn’t feel that she can tell her husband how she really feels and “the only safe language is dead language” (Theichler 61). The language of male judgment and control is predominant in the beginning of the story too. Her husband and brother both are physicians, diagnose her with a nervous condition, and both believe she will be fine with medicine and rest. The men in her life believe she should not work, and they emphasize that she “take phosphates or phosphites--whichever it is--and tonics, and journeys,... ... middle of paper ... ...the wall-paper torn from the wall, and he finds the woman creeping about the room, and faints. The narrator declares, “I’ve got out at last,” said I, “in spite of you and Jane! And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back” (Gilman 819). The narrator finally wins the battle of escaping her imprisonment of John the controlling husband. Jane is finally free of her depression and of her husband’s dominance. It temporarily cost her, her sanity to the point where images were being projected from the yellow wall-paper. The paper was a part of Jane’s neurosis, but also crept into the entire household. In order to cope with the madness Jane found her inner self is an image of a creeping woman trying to escape the patterned wall-paper. In order to escape her suppression, Jane immersed herself further into her insanity to become sane once again.
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