Yellow Wallpaper Misfit Analysis

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“I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.” Just like anyone’s first impression of a misfit, Jane from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper” is unsettled by the wallpaper in her room from the first time she lays eyes on it. A misfit being someone, or something in this case, that doesn’t fit in, explains why the yellow wallpaper is the misfit character in this story. Society views those who differ as deviants, and “normal” people are expected not to accept these misfit characters for what they are. By just showing their true colors and not hiding behind society’s expectations misfits make the ones who choose to hide uncomfortable. The more time one may spend with one…show more content…
In the first entry of her journal, where she describes the house she is staying in for the summer, Jane describes the wallpaper: “The color is repellent, almost revolting.” Having developed only a slight distaste for the misfit, Jane only sees the wallpaper as any “normal” person in society would. She states that knows a little bit about the “principle of design” and notes that the wallpaper doesn’t follow any sort of pattern that she recognizes, making it even more off putting. With a disagreeable pattern, and an even worse color, the misfit only really fits in with it’s own environment. Gilman describes the furniture in the room as “nothing worse than inharmonious” and the rest of the room is worn down and disturbing to say the least. No one in Jane’s company is particularly itching to be able to stay in the room, but she is forced to, driving her to maintain contact with the misfit. During the second entry to her journal, Jane’s opinion on the wallpaper starts to warp. Gilman writes, “This paper looks to me as if it KNEW what a vicious influence it had!” Instead of just being a simply disagreeable object, the wallpaper starts to become a threat. Not only has it started to personify in Jane’s mind, it is a danger in her mind. This personification of the wallpaper/misfit continues as Jane spends time with…show more content…
She must take note of the woman that she sees in the pattern to make sense of its mysteriousness: “Then in the very bright spots she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard.” Not only is this woman that is a core part of the misfit held in some sort of prison, so is Jane. In the “bright spots”, in view of her husband and other people, she must “stay still” and pretend she is alright. However, in the “shady spots”, when she is alone, Jane allows herself to let go and, thanks to the misfit, is able to be aware of the bars that surround her own life. This exact woman and the misfit that she is a part of, is the exact reason why Jane is even given the opportunity to escape the prison that makes up her current reality. The misfit, the yellow wallpaper, even lets the woman inside of it out of its grasp during the day: “It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.” Just as the misfit is abnormal and doesn’t conform, this woman shares the same traits and she has become a part of the misfit. Jane is aware of the fact that creeping by daylight is abnormal, just like the misfit. In the beginning Jane most likely would not have accepted this behavior. Now Jane even admits to creeping, just not in plain sight.
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