Ed. Sarah Lawall and Maynard Mack. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2002. 1307-1379. Print.
While the main character of Gilman’s story endures multiple psychotic breaks, Elisa Allen of Steinbeck’s piece is quite the opposite: a very strong and powerful woman. Gilman’s character finally resolves her problems by breaking free, where Elisa remains frustrated with her ignorant husband and Edna of ultimately escapes through death. This dominance, this isolation, is a cycle maintained by society and the men within it. A cycle that these three short stories prove to be nothing more than destructive and harmful for families as a whole. Following these storylines, there are three key points to address: the relationship between husband and wife, women’s standings within society and finally, the end that it drives these originally normal women to.
In Give me liberty! : an American history. Seagull third ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. Eric, Foner.
Others could interpret the women allegorically by seeing the woman as the same woman behind the wallpaper. She is trapped under her duties and culture roles as a woman in the late 1800s, which is submissive and obedient to her husband’s authority with very light questioning of that authority. Charlotte wrote this after her ordeal of leaving her first marriage and doctor while being treated for depression. The correlation of being stuck and not knowing what to do while only having the option to react because you have been placed in a mental corner, is how I see the story and mental journey for Charlotte, as I see her as both the women in this story. This story could be interpreted as Charlotte showing her independence as a women being oppressed in the situation she has found herself in with her first marriage and recently becoming a mother who may have felt bound to a motherly roll the rest of her life.
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.
The setting of the room symbolizes the loneliness the narrator is undergoing. The narrator has her mind encased that there is a woman struggling and in her solitary room, she feels its true and she is even seen fighting for her. The author used the room to symbolize what the main character was going through all alone in the isolated estate where she was brought by her husband. The yellow paper played a distinct reason for the narrator’s madness. In her writings, she explains that the more she became insane, the more the wall paper became a big issue to her that is why she smudged ultimately.
Gilman creates a horrific tone that helps explore the idea of freedom and confinement within a certain place. The story is created to follow the situation of the narrator and how slowly she begins to deteriorate psychologically due to the wallpaper. The narrator is never assigned a name, therefore it can be assumed that the story is suppose to serve as a voice for the women who have been in a similar situation and have lost their freedom and say on their own lives. However, the narrator appears to come from a wealthy family with privilege so there cannot be this idea that all women who have been through this form of depression and inequalities have experienced it in the same form. Through the use of imagery, the reader was able to understand and clearly visualize the situation in which the narrator is in and see how she has begun to slowly deteriorate, even though she is finally freed in the end of the story, or at least that is what is assumed.