The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

Length: 832 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator becomes more depressed throughout the story because of the recommendation of isolation that was made to her. In this short story the narrator is detained in a lonesome, drab room in an attempt to free herself of a nervous disorder. The narrator’s husband, a physician, adheres to this belief and forces his wife into a treatment of solitude. Rather than heal the narrator of her psychological disorder, the treatment only contributes to its effects, driving her into a severe depression. Under the orders of her husband, the narrator is moved to a house far from society in the country, where in she is locked into an upstairs room.
This environment serves not as an inspiration for mental health but as an element of repression. The locked door and barred windows serve to physically restrain her: “the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls.” The narrator is affected not only by the physical restraints but also by being exposed to the room’s yellow wallpaper is dreadful and fosters only negative creativity. “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.”

All through the story the yellow wallpaper acts as an antagonist causing her to become very annoyed and disturbed. There is nothing to do in the secluded room but stare at the wallpaper. The narrator tells of the haphazard pattern having no organization or symmetrical plot. Her constant examination of and reflection o...

... middle of paper ...

...reep over him every time!” Clearly this treatment is issued with good intentions but fails to bring about positive results.

Gilman tries to show that according to her husband, the narrator continually brings her great depression upon herself. The author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman also attempts to show that the lack of social exposure, physical repression, and ugly wallpaper cause the treatment to be extremely ineffective and detrimental. The disorder which is being treated is actually strengthened to the point of a serious mental illness. Similarly in today’s society, medical and psychological advice may have the same effect. Medical technology and practice have progressed considerably since the time of the “Yellow Wallpaper.” This is not to say that today’s physicians are infallible. Perhaps some of today’s treatments are the “Yellow Wallpaper” of the future .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Charlotte Perkins Gilman Expresses Her Beliefs Through The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

- The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is one of the most interesting and disturbed characters of any story that I have ever read. She is never given a name and she changes throughout the story, giving us no consistent character. This story is a representation of how being locked up and controlled can affect the way someone thinks and feels. The narrator is presented as a normal person at the beginning, but we quickly find out that she has many problems that only worsen and affect everyone around her....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper : Oppression Of The Narrator And The Progression Of Her Psychological Deterioration

- The yellow wallpaper referenced in the title of the story holds significant symbolic meaning relating to the oppression of the narrator and the progression of her psychological deterioration. Early on, the narrator expresses her disdain for the yellow paper covering the walls of her temporary bedroom, referring to it as “that horrid paper,” and declaring it the worst wallpaper she had ever seen in her life (Gilman 77, 79). The frequently mentioned pattern of the wallpaper, which is particularly exasperating to the narrator, symbolizes the societal patterns of gender-related restrictions....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1388 words (4 pages)

A Diagnosis Of The Narrator In Yellow Wallpaper

- After reading Charlotte Perkins Gillman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" I have come to think that the narrator does not suffer from hysteria. I have reached this idea from comparing the research I have done on hysteria to her symptoms in the story. In this paper I will discuss why I feel the narrator does not suffer from hysteria but may be suffering from postpartum depression. "The Yellow Wallpaper" was written in the late nineteenth century. In that period of time hysteria was thought to occur through irregular blood flow from the uterus to the brain....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gillman]

Free Essays
1380 words (3.9 pages)

The Narrator of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Short Story, The Yellow Wallpaper

- In everyday day life we go through changes and sometimes we even break down to the point we do not know what to do with ourselves, but in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story” The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator is an obsessive person. The story focuses on a woman who is going through postpartum depression and has had a nervous breakdown. Her husband John moves her into a home where he wants her to rest in isolation to recover from her disorder. Throughout her time in the room the narrator discovers new things and finally understands life....   [tags: Essay on The Yellow Wallpaper]

Free Essays
565 words (1.6 pages)

Effects of 19th Century Society’s View of Women on the Narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper”

- Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a literary exaggeration of Gilman’s personal battle with depression that exploits not only the flaws in the perception of depression in the late 1800s but the flaws in that society’s views on women as well. Set up in a diary format, the entry document a three month stay at a secluded mansion where the narrator’s physician husband John, who has told friends and relatives that there is “really nothing the matter with [his wife],” has brought her in on the sabbatical, of sorts, in hopes of treating her “nervous depression” (394, par.10)....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Charles Perkins]

Better Essays
1769 words (5.1 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper: Analyzing the Narrator

- In "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents the narrator, being the main character, as an ill woman. However, she is not ill physically. She is ill in her mind. More than any chemical imbalance that may be present; the narrator's environment is what causes her to go mad. The narrator is never directly introduced or ever called by a name. It is obvious that this narrator is a woman, married to a named John. His name is presented, and not hers, for a reason. It is to present the fact that within herself, within her marriage to John, and within society, she feels unimportant....   [tags: American Literature]

Better Essays
641 words (1.8 pages)

The Purpose of the Narrator in The Zebra Storyteller and The Yellow Wallpaper

- The Purpose of the Narrator in The Zebra Storyteller and The Yellow Wallpaper "The role of the narrator influences the type of relationship we have not only with him or her but also with the story" (Landy 75). This quote was taken from our Literary Studies book in which we have read several stories concerning different styles of narration. Narration is one of the most important components of a story. The characters, plot, setting, and theme are also significant, however the narrator sets the mood and also the pace of the story....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Conflict between the Narrator and Her Husband in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Conflict between the Narrator and Her Husband in The Yellow Wallpaper In the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper", by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; a central conflict centers between the narrator and her husband, John. The husband uses his power as a doctor to control her; he forces her to behave how he thinks a sick woman should. The husband can be seen as a father figure who overprotects her and makes decisions for her. The woman suffers from depression and is prescribed a rest cure. John believes that she is not sick, but she is just fatigued and needs some rest....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
427 words (1.2 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, An Explanation For Both Gilman 's And The Narrator 's Growing Madness

- The “rest cure” used throughout Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” as an explanation for both Gilman’s and the narrator’s growing madness (Gilman 526-535). Interpreting “The Yellow Wallpaper” requires the use of critical reviews such as biography and feminism. Conquering these critical reviews will allow us to better understand the horrors of Gilman’s reality. By starting to use both biography and feminism together we can begin to understand more of what was behind “The Yellow Wallpaper”. “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" behind the “bars” of the prison like...   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 19th century]

Better Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Narrator and Point of View in Yellow Wallpaper and Story of an Hour

- Narrator and Point of View in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of an Hour     Both Gilman's and Chopin's stories are, in effect, stories of women who feel "trapped" by the men in their lives. Gilman uses first person narration to reveal a woman's "creeping" loss of reality to her readers, while Chopin allows us to experience the joy Louise Mallard felt upon hearing of her husband's death through third person narration. Interestingly, neither story would have been able to reveal either woman's psyche to impact the reader as successfully as both did had their individual narrations been attempted through another form....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Better Essays
1323 words (3.8 pages)