A Critical Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A Critical Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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A Critical Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

'The Yellow Wallpaper' written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a
riveting story of a dejected woman locked away as if she were insane.
Her passion is to write and by doing so we are able to follow her on a
journey in which she is victimized by those closest to her. The
significance of the story is tremendous as it delves into the
underlying issues of 'a woman's place' and feminism in the 19th
century. The story not only gave an insight into the public perception
of mental illness but it later caused a famous psychiatrist, Silas
Weir Mitchell to alter his treatment of neurasthema.

As the story begins, the woman-whose name we never learn-tells of her
depression and how it is dismissed by her husband and brother who are
both medical practitioners. "You see, he does not believe I am sick!
And what can one do?" We are able to see that the narrator has
maintained the traditional patriarchal feelings, as many women and men
did in 19th century, where women are discouraged from venturing out of
their 'given sphere', due to the political makeup of the era. It
becomes apparent that her mind was alluding to this point by the way
she speaks about her husband, "John laughs at me, of course, but one
expects that." The structure of this sentence highlights the male
laughing and the woman acquiescing, showed by the short sentence and
the full stop - silencing any of her thoughts and opinions. An example
of the dominant submissive relationship between them. He treats her as
if she was a child and he was the controlling, domineering, yet loving
parent. "What is it, little girl?' h...


... middle of paper ...


...d
self-analysis, and was symptomatic of the degeneration rife in
society. This illustrates the protagonists warped head state as
although yellow is associated with negativity, she craves it. This is
portrayed when the protagonist claims that everything outside is
'green instead of yellow'. Her mind is so twisted that she feels
everything outside of her 'sphere' is evil.

The ending of the story is open to a variety of different
interpretations. She feels victorious for escaping from her husbands
grasp however in reality she is now trapped within herself. We feel
that she may commit suicide due to her frustration, however the
situation was reversed, and I was given the impression that she may
have tried to murder her husband, in an attempt to free herself.
However what ultimately happens we are never able to learn.

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A Critical Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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