The Yellow Wallpaper Conflict Analysis

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In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins, the main character, who is the narrator, is taken to a summerhouse by her husband John. John is not only her husband but he is also a physician. Her husband John diagnoses his wife as being mentally unwell. John’s prescription for healing her state of mental instability is bed rest. While on bed rest, the narrator is left alone in her house by herself for most of the day. Her husband John forces her to stay in the room that she despises, in a house she does not want to be in. The narrator wanted freedom and her internal yearning for freedom causes conflict in many areas of her life. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman shows the mental breakdown of the main character through the…show more content…
The conflict in her environment showed her internal conflict with her husband. A critique of “The Yellow Wallpaper” says, “[The narrator] even challenges John’s treatment of her. Yet, while one part of her may believe John wrong, another part that has internalized the negative definitions of womanhood believes that since he is the man, the doctor, and therefore the authority, then he may be right” (Magill). This internal conflict between wanting to believe herself while still living in agreement with her husband causes the narrator to doubt every move that she makes and overanalyze every detail of her life. The narrator says, “He said we came here solely on my account, that I was to have perfect rest and all the air I could get” (1). The narrator’s idea that she must do everything her husband tells her forces her to doubt herself and her ability to make proper judgments for…show more content…
The narrator has conflict with her environment and John, but she refuses to stand up for herself because of her lack of self worth. She says, “John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him. Of course it is only nervousness. It does weigh on me so not to do my duty in any way I meant to be such a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative burden already!” (Gilman 2). In this insight into the narrator’s mind one can see how she bases her self worth in what her husband thinks of her and since she believes that all she is to him is a burden, then she has no validation of her self worth through anyone but him.
Restate Thesis- In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the use of the Narrator’s conflict throughout the story causes her to have a mental breakdown brought upon by the narrator’s conflict with the environment she is in, the conflict with her husband, and the conflict within herself. The narrator’s conflict with her environment, her husband, and within herself brings upon her mental breakdown. If people would look past their own desires and opinions of others then people might be able to truly help others, instead of harming them by confining them to the box people put them
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