What Is Ecological Adaptation In The Yellow Wallpaper

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Ecological Adaptation within Literature, “The Yellow-Wallpaper” In the thrilling short story, “The Yellow-Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman captivates readers and critics through many literary techniques, including a distinctive discourse, a first person perspective of neurosis, and an array of symbolic overtones. However, while these other approaches provide highly educational insight, there is another perspective of Gilman’s story that Heidi Scott, a professor at the University of Maryland, offers: the application of ecology. She writes in her journal article, “Crazed Nature: Ecology in The Yellow Wall-Paper,” how the unnamed narrator taps into her animalistic instinct and allows for her body to adapt to the new ecological surroundings. In order to best understand Scott’s analysis, I will explore a…show more content…
Tied together with feminism, Gilman’s story takes on the humiliation of social codes by illustrating a woman who is put to bed rest after giving birth and must stay put away per her husband and brother’s requests. Gilman works through the narrator to show how the woman slowly fades from the realistic world and into a new one by way the yellow wallpaper. The room becomes her reality and the world outside her window becomes the fantastical delusion. But as the narrator develops into a creature of the room itself, her physiology transforms according to the environment. Scott quotes Gilman’s essay, “The ‘Nervous Breakdown’ of Women,” on her elaboration of ecologies, “Even if the physico-psychic balance is perfect, there remains another necessity for peace of mind; that is the adjustment between the individual and the environment” (qtd. in Scott 199). While Gilman’s sanity never went as far as the narrator’s, she still bordered the line of physiologically and psychologically leaving one world for

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