The very popular short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a compelling story of a woman with a mental illness. Every aspect of this story contributes to its success, including the characters and their interactions, the plot, setting, the most apparent symbols, the point of view used, and the overall message of the story. This story is a great representation of mental illness in the time when it was written – misunderstood, and feared.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is about a woman who is struggling with what we now know is post partum depression. She is in the middle of a nervous breakdown, where her husband, who is also her doctor, moves her into a house away from her life so that she may get some “rest.” This resting treatment consists of literally nothing; no writing, no drawing, just resting. In fact this rest drove her insane, and she suffered a complete break from reality (Trimmer).
The two main characters in the story are the narrator, and her husband John who is her doctor. These characters greatly affect the story in many ways. On top of the narrator who is instrumental, because it is her story, without John the narrator would have never been prescribed the resting treatment and would have eventually escaped her depression by creative expression. Without John, the writing style of the story would be much different. Because the narrator was not allowed to do anything but rest, she had to sneak in bits of writing between times that she saw him.
The plot greatly affects the story. The narrator has recently had a child and is suffering from post-partum depression. When her husband moves her to a new home for the summer, he thinks it is best to keep her alone in an upstairs room for the sake of h...
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... woman suppressed by her doctor husband. We can all learn something from “The Yellow Wallpaper” – it always gets worse before it gets better, but once at the bottom, there is only one way to go – up. It is always worth fighting for your rights as a human being.
Cangialosi, Kristin E. ""The Yellow Wallpaper"" Plot Summary. University At Buffalo, The State University of New York, 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Gilman, Charlotte P. "The Yellow Wallpaper." The Sundance Introduction To Literature. By Joseph F. Trimmer. N.p.: Thompson Wadsworth, 2007. 1089+. Print.
Thomas, Deborah. "The Changing Role of Womanhood: From True Woman to New Woman in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”." Gilman, "Yellow Wallpaper" Florida Gulf Coast University, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
"Yellow Wallpaper Characters." Grade Saver. Grade Saver LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.