preview

The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis Essay

Satisfactory Essays
Women in the 19th century were expected to fulfill their duties as wives and mothers. They were to be content with their lifestyle and ask of nothing more. Women were doomed to live in a male dominant world. Women who dared to enter this masculine realm were associated with prostitutes, the lowest level of society. In the story, The Yellow Wallpaper, John seems deemed as the evil physician with a sick wife whom he dominates. Truthfully, he is simply the product of society. The narrator has a desire to have more in her life than just her husband and her child, but this was not the social norm. Also, the love she had for writing and creativity did not make her the ideal wife for this era. The major theme throughout this story is the domestic trap women faced from their husbands in the 19th century.
The narrator and her physician husband, John, rented out a majestic, colonial mansion for the summer. The narrator is in love with the house and cannot wait to spend her summer here. Her husband John has high hopes that a change of scenery will help her recover from a recent phase of depression. He results in a treatment called the “Rest Cure,” a treatment discovered by S. Weir Mitchell. The narrator finds the house queer, but gives it a chance. She becomes upset with John due to his choice of a bedroom for her. Once she had a look around the house she desired the downstairs room with a window overlooking the gardens. However, John argues that the room is too small and places her in the nursery room. It is a large room with barred windows that allow plenty of sunshine through. The narrator finds the room appalling due to the chaotic, yellow wallpaper on the walls. The narrator is imprisoned, unable to have control over her own mind. "...t...

... middle of paper ...

...rld. Throughout the story, the wallpaper becomes an outlet for the narrator to exercise her literary imagination. She soon comes to find that the wallpaper holds a feminine figure, or so she thinks. By using her initial feeling of being watched, the narrator decodes the chaotic pattern and locates the figure of a woman. A woman struggling to break free from the bars in the pattern. As her insanity increases, the narrator completely relates with this woman. She then begins to believe that she, too, is trapped within the wallpaper. When she tears down the wallpaper, she believes that she has finally broken out of the wallpaper. The wallpaper that she believes John has imprisoned her. By tearing it down, the narrator asserts her own identity, which unfortunately by now is confused. As she crawls around the room, she is initiating the first stage of a feminist uprising.
Get Access