The Importance of the Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Importance of the Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Length: 1662 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Importance of the Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper

 
    "The Yellow Wallpaper" takes a close look at one woman's mental deterioration. The narrator is emotionally isolated from her husband. Due to the lack of interaction with other people the woman befriends the reader by secretively communicating her story in a diary format. Her attitude towards the wallpaper is openly hostile at the beginning, but ends with an intimate and liberating connection. During the gradual change in the relationship between the narrator and the wallpaper, the yellow paper becomes a mirror, reflecting the process the woman is going through in her room.


    When the narrator first sees the paper she is repulsed by the shade and the pattern. It is something she hates and yet she cannot ignore it. The "repellent" and "repulsive" paper soon becomes the topic of her journal entries. The first personification of the wallpaper is when she notices where the pattern "lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down"..."I never saw so much expression in an inanimate thing before". This indicates that, just as John and Jennie watch her, the paper appears to be watching her too. She speaks of the paper as another presence in the room. The reader can see that the paper is starting to become more fascinating to her than the outside world when her attention to the view of the countryside abruptly switches back to the wallpaper. As she becomes more isolated in the room her thoughts are filled with the design of the paper almost as if she is studying it. "I know a little of the principle of design, and I know this thing was not arranged on any laws of radiation, or alternation, or repetition, or symmetry, or anything else that I ev...


... middle of paper ...


...

    Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1995. 424-36.

Hume, Beverly A. “Gilman’s Interminable Grotesque’: The Narrator of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Studies in Short Fiction 28.4 (1991):477-84.

Johnson, Greg. “Gilman’s Gothic Allegory: Rage and Redemption in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Studies in Short Fiction 26.4 (1989):521-30.

King, Jeannette and Pam Morris. “On Not Reading between the Lines: Models of Reading in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Studies in Short Fiction 26.1 (1989): 23-32.

Owens, E. Suzanne. “The Ghostly Double behind the Wallpaper in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’”

    Haunting the House of Fiction. Ed. Lynette Carpenter and Wendy K. Kolmar. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1991 64-79.

Scharnhorst, Gary. “‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Boston: Twayne, 1985. 15-20.

 

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Importance of Setting in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

-     A review of the house itself suggests that an architectural hierarchy of privacy increases level by level. At first, the house seems to foster romantic sensibilities; intrigued by its architectural connotations, the narrator embarks upon its description immediately--it is the house that she wants to "talk about" (Gilman 11). Together with its landscape, the house is a "most beautiful place" that stands "quite alone . . . well back from the road, quite three miles from the village" (Gilman 11)....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Powerful Essays
3195 words (9.1 pages)

The Importance of the Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The “Webster’s Dictionary” defines “Self-Expression” as "expression of one’s own personality or emotion." Self-expression is the way in which a person can express his or her thought processes through communication, writing, artwork and so on. Moreover, we must be able to express our emotions to others to assure emotional wellness. There are times when a person’s outer self-expression doesn't match his or her real feelings. Sometimes we pretend to say, feel things that seem acceptable to others just so others will accept us, we hide our true selves, we say things that we don't mean, thinking that it is what others want to hear and it can become frustrating because trying to hold back our true...   [tags: short story analysis]

Powerful Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Importance of Gender Roles in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

- Charlotte Perkins Gilman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” explores gender roles that hint at the complications of this short story. “John laughs at me, of course” shows the insight into a largely known problem in human societies and relationships. The fictional short story shows the chilling nonfictional concerns of gender subordination in present times. One is shown in a series of events the challenges of a woman, the narrator, living in a male dominated society. Society is composed of the powerful and the weak, an asset to a gender dominated society one lives in....   [tags: society, dominant, depression]

Powerful Essays
635 words (1.8 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Gillman

- In Charlotte Gillman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, she portrays the true importance of self-expression in desperate times of need. In the story Gillman depicts the unraveling of an unstable woman battling what could be postpartum depression. The narrator and her husband John, who also happens to be her physician, move into a rental home for the summer so that she is able to rest and recover. Shortly, she finds herself frequently examining the pattern of a hideous yellow wallpaper that resides in her room....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Powerful Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

An Analysis Of Charlotte Gilman 's ' The Yellow Wallpaper '

- The Unravelling of an Unstable Mind In Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, she portrays the true importance of individualism in desperate times of need. In the story, Gilman depicts the unraveling of an unstable woman battling what could be postpartum depression. The narrator and her husband John, who also happens to be her physician, move into a rental home for the summer so that she is able to rest and recover. Shortly, she finds herself frequently examining the pattern of a hideous yellow wallpaper that resides in her room....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Powerful Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

The Importance of Setting in The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Gilman

- The Importance of Setting in The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Gilman In the short story "The Yellow Wall-Paper," by Charlotte Gilman, the setting contributes to the narrator's insanity.  When she first sees the house, she loves it.  She thinks the house will be a perfect place to recover from her "nervous condition," but that does not happen because her husband confines her to the bedroom so that her health will improve.  The narrator's mental illness deteriorates to the point of insanity due to her isolation in the bedroom, with only the yellow wallpaper to look at that she considers "repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow,strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight"...   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper Gillman Essays]

Powerful Essays
1355 words (3.9 pages)

Charlotte Gilman 's The Yellow Wallpaper

- Written to portray the suffering of women during the nineteenth century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, The Yellow Wallpaper, in an intriguing semi-autobiographical short story. Gilman uses symbolism to enhance the reader 's understanding of mental illness, in particular, Gilman strives to portray the true hardship of being a woman with a mental illness. To create this meaning, Gilman uses symbols such as deteriorating wall paper, the colour yellow, and the image of bars. Though this short story was written for a nineteenth century audience, it’s message created through symbolism rings true for those trying to understand mental illness today....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Powerful Essays
1343 words (3.8 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman perfectly portrays and embodies the suppression of late nineteenth-century married women in a male-dominated society which resulted in a whole class of people plagued by the severe mental ramifications of this defective structure. The plot greatly aligns with a personal experience the author (Gilman) had in which the constraint of her freedoms following the advice of her doctor drove her near the edge of madness, nearly making "The Yellow Wallpaper" a personal account of these events....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Powerful Essays
1177 words (3.4 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The Yellow Wallpaper is a very unique and odd story. In the first read through of the story, the reader is aware that the narrator is sick and losing her mind. Over the course of the story it becomes apparent that the treatment used to heal the narrator isn’t effective. As she begins to completely lose her mind the reader gets a glimpse into her mind. She believes that she is trapped inside of the wallpaper, and by ripping it off the wall she can escape. There are several topics that seem to occur in this story....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Powerful Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote, “The Yellow Wallpaper” in the first person as a journal in the 19th century not with the intent to drive people crazy, but as social criticism, against the haunting psychological horrors of a doctor’s error in treatment of women using the “rest cure,” during this time. Gilman was a women’s right activist, wife, mother, and author who illustrates how women where submissive to male authority and did not have rights during this male dominated era in society. She believed women’s lives were not only controlled, but also limited preventing them from experiencing anything outside the home hindering their creative and intellectual development....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Powerful Essays
735 words (2.1 pages)