In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman suffering from postpartum depression is prescribed a “rest cure”. She is forced to stay in a room with yellow wallpaper which She says is “committing every artistic sin” (Gilman 419). The woman convinces herself that there is a woman trapped in the yellow wallpaper, and it is her job to free and catch her. She begins to mix reality with fantasy and she unknowingly becomes suicidal and drives herself mad. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” uses dialogue, narration, and symbolism to show that women are not taken seriously when it comes to mental health.
The idea she gives in her article based on Gilman not having the same view as the novel “Jasmine”. There is depression in one and freedom in another, but the comparison that they both have are merely on women trying gain there freedom back. Women equality had was a great issue to women back then, especially, when a situation explained in “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator does not understand that she is the one trapped behind the wallpaper behind those bars. Nadkarni explains, “the story charts the narrator 's growing madness and preoccupation with the wallpaper of her sickroom and ends with her identification with the woman she sees "crawling" (55) behind the "bars" (52) of the prisonlike pattern” (219). She discovers the narrator as an insane woman who does not understand that who she discovers behind the wallpaper is she on reflection; she is the one escaping from her own miserable life.
Gilman does so by t... ... middle of paper ... ...she sees in the wallpaper is trapped behind the pattern, just like the narrator is trapped in the room. The woman’s mental status gets so deteriorated that she has a breaking point when she “escapes” her imprisonment. The author writes, “Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor” (320). Taking down the wallpaper symbolizes her finally freeing herself. Charlotte Gilman accomplishes her goal of spreading awareness about the oppression of women by forcing the readers to dig deep into The Yellow Wallpaper.
This “cure” eventually leads to the decrease of her mental stability as she becomes more and more obsessed with the wallpaper. In order to convey a story with so many themes lots of literary devices were used. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses symbolism and characterization to explore themes about the lack of understanding of women and their mental health. The narrator of the story, though unnamed, represents a stereotypical woman with mental illnesses in that day and age. “Many details, like the lack of a name, argue against her individuality,” (Ford 1).
The narrator confides in “dead language” (Treichler) as a source to freely express herself from the captivity placed upon her from her husband in an attempt to cure her condition of temporary nervous depression. The dead language represents writing in the journal for the narrator of the story. It is considered dead as she must be secretive about it for the fear of her husband John finding her writing as “he hates to have [her] write a single word” (Gilman). The woman is forbidden to work as a result of her husband’s treatment for her condition. He does not want her practicing discourse as he believes she is sick and her treatment is to be alienated from work, life, and writing to cure her condition.
The narrator then becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper as she feels out of control. She visualizes the pattern in the yellow wallpaper resembling a woman that is trapped just as the narrator feels trapped by the people in her life that are trying to control her. As Author Beverly A. Hume states in Managing Madness in Gilman 's 'The Yellow Wall-Paper, ' “Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's narrator evokes sympathy--not
Because her husband, John, does not take her illness seriously and neglects to get her out of the house, her mind cannot take it and she loses her sanity. It should be clear to the reader, since she thinks she and the imaginary woman has worked together to pull the wallpaper down that she believes the women in the yellow wallpaper and she are both trapped and are both working together to escape. (200) Likewise, when she tells John, “I got out at last”, and, “in spite of you and jane! And I pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back”, By her saying this to John tells you she thinks she is free, because she has torn down the yellow wallpaper. She is no longer saying anything about a woman being in the wallpaper, because in her mind, she is now the
“An Interpretive Essay of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." “The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a gothic short story that tells the tale of female oppression. Written in the first person and taking the form of a personal diary, Gilman uses the “The Yellow Wallpaper” and its many symbols to shed light on the physical and mental oppression women faced by living in a male-dominated society, and their inability to have authority over their own lives in any facet. During the 1800’s when this story was written women were often expected to adhere to societies images of what a woman should be. In most cases, that meant being able to complete the duties of wifehood and motherhood.
Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow wallpaper” is about a woman who retreats into an obsessive fantasy, due to the fact that she feels imprisoned in a marriage where she has little to no say in her own life. We learn in the beginning of the story that our character suffers from a nervous disorder, that we now know today as post-partum depression. In the search for a treatment our Narrators husband, John, prescribes “Rest Therapy”. The “Rest Therapy” that is prescribed prevents her from “working”, seeing friends, and enforces isolation. Although our Narrator strongly disagrees with the treatment she doesn’t do anything about it and follows his orders.
The protagonist believes that there is a woman trapped by the wall, and that this woman only moves at night with the night light. The allusion to this light is not in the beginning of the story, but in the end. “She begins to strip of the wallpaper at every opportunity in order to free the woman she perceives is trapped inside. Paranoid by now, the narrator attempts to disguise her obsession with the wallpaper.” (Knight, p.81) In the description of the yellow wallpaper and what is seen behind it there are sinister implications that symbolize the closure of the woman. It implies that any intellectual activity is a deviation from their duties as a housewife.