Charlotte Perkins Gilman had problems. Most of those problems resulted from her nervous condition that was previously termed “melancholia.” She did not give in – Gilman was a fighter. Instead of bowing to the disease, she wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a story intended to help other women suffering from a similar fate. Although this explanation reveals why Gilman wrote the book, it does not reveal the true intention of the story. This is not merely the tale of an insane woman. The narrator’s insanity is a symbol for Gilman’s commentary on the evils of social conformity with relevance to the role of women in society. The narrator comes to realize the inhumanity in society’s treatment of women, and, as a result of her awakening, she cannot help but visualize her own torment brought on by the old yellow wallpaper that hangs around her, a faded cage. The narrator’s name is left a mystery in order to give her universal appeal. The narrator could be and is every wife, every mother, every daughter, every woman. Gilman uses imagery and literary devices to convey her moral of the mistreatment of women in the 19th century.
The first striking image that readers of "The Yellow Wallpaper" are presented with is not that of a room, it is not of the house, but of the character of John, the husband. John is described as a man of a "practical and ext...
... middle of paper ...
King, Jeanette, and Pam Morris. "On Not Reading Between the Lines: Models of Reading in 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" Studies in Short Fiction 26.1 (Winter 1989): 23-32.
Knight, Denise D. "The Reincarnation of Jane: 'Through This' - Gilman's Companion to 'The Yellow Wallpaper.'" Women's Studies 20 (1992): 287-302.
Rigney, Barbara Hill. Madness and Sexual Politics in the Feminist Novel: Studies in Bronte, Woolf, Lessing, and Atwood. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1978.
Russell, Denise. Women, Madness and Medicine. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 1995.
Showalter, Elaine. The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980. New York: Pantheon Books, 1985.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1892 gothic and horror short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” traces the mental decline of a woman while undergoing a “rest cure”. This captivating story illustrates the stifling plight of the protagonist in a patriarchal society. Her husband, John, a physician, has taken the narrator, a new mother, to a rented country home for the summer in order for her to recover from postpartum psychosis. He isolates her in an upstairs nursery, a room with barred windows, a nailed down bed, and odious yellow wallpaper, and forbids her to write, in accordance with the philosophy of the “rest cure”.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Gilman]
2454 words (7 pages)
- Intriguing things such as madness, hallucinations, paranoia, and depression are all traits that make a story memorable and interesting. However, there is more than just madness contained in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Through the use of an unnamed narrator, Gilman depicts how women of her time were trapped by social barriers. The innocent and seminally well to do opening of the story with a mentally “ill” women being cared for by her physician husband steadily digresses into a struggle for her to escape her bonds and gain her freedom, her social equality.... [tags: society, equality, trapped]
1031 words (2.9 pages)
- man’s world, but a world that belonged to all humans, and made strides to alter the oppressive social atmosphere in which they lived. In the inspiring short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman used insanity as a form of rebellion to break free of the oppressive influence of the primary male character, the husband. Within Gilman’s short story entitled “The Yellow Wallpaper,” there is a force of oppression in John that symbolizes the whole of Victorian patriarchal society, a society which Gilman fought to eradicate throughout the nineteenth century with countless speeches and works of literature.... [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Woman, Gender role]
1141 words (3.3 pages)
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote the story in the Yellow Wallpaper in the year 1892. It is a semi-autobiographical story that describes how the women were treated during the rest cure that was prescribed for nervous disorders by the famous physician doctor Silas Weir Mitchell. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s work was only a fiction to achieve the minds of the people. In the course of the novel he identifies several roles of women and how they should serve to affirm male chauvinism in the society. It also describes the childlike submissive and obedience of women to male authority which was highly considered as typical in the start of the 20th Century.... [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Feminism]
2160 words (6.2 pages)
- In the last half of the 19th Century, through the early 20th Century, was a movement that many have all but forgotten. Gone and nearly forgotten was a quiet revolution, of sorts, that liberated women from not only the psychological oppressions they faced, but also to have equal rights. The movement is known as Women’s Suffrage. Thanks to authors such as Calum Kerr, whose literary analyses known as, “Literary Contexts in Short Stories: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, many will not forget the challenges women faced.... [tags: Women's Suffrage, Past Literature]
882 words (2.5 pages)
- Charlotte Perkin Gilman as a woman living in 19th century America, provides powerful insight into the mistreatment of women at the time in her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The narrative is told from the perspective of Jane whose oppressive relationship with her husband causes her to descend into madness. Jane and her husband John although married lived unequal lives. John, both a male and a doctor holds a very high position in society. All of John’s words are finals this influences Jane throughout the story.... [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 19th century]
760 words (2.2 pages)
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” has opened many people’s eyes since it was first published in 1892. In the beginning readers only acknowledged Gilman’s story as showing how women with mental illnesses were treated by physicians during the 1800’s. They overlooked the deeper meaning the text contained, and it was not until later that readers discovered it. Eventually, “The Yellow Wallpaper” became known as feminist literature. Gilman does a great job showing how women suffered from inadequate medical treatment, but above that she depicts how nineteenth century women were trapped in their roles in society and yearned to escape from being controlled by males.... [tags: confinement, society, control ]
584 words (1.7 pages)
- The Yellow Wallpaper: Imprisoned by Society Charlotte Perkins Gilman's, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the story of a woman's descent into madness as the result of being isolated as a form of "treatment" when suffering from postpartum depression. On a larger scale, Gilman is also telling the story of how women were kept prisoners by the confines of the society of her time and the penalties these women incurred when they attempted to break free from these confines. In the beginning of the story, the narrator, whose name is never divulged, has been brought to an isolated country estate in order to recuperate from "a slight hysterical tendency" by her husband, John, who is also a physician... [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]
1079 words (3.1 pages)
- The Oppression of Women by Society in The Yellow Wallpaper "The Yellow Wallpaper" is about a creative woman whose talents are suppressed by her dominant husband. His efforts to oppress her in order to keep her within society's norms of what a wife is supposed to act like, only lead to her mental destruction. He is more concerned with societal norms than the mental health of his wife. In trying to become independent and overcome her own suppressed thoughts, and her husbands false diagnosis of her; she loses her sanity.... [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]
1607 words (4.6 pages)
- 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.... [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper]
832 words (2.4 pages)
- Comparing A Turn with the Sun and A Separate Peace
- Free College Essays - Envy in A Separate Peace
- Lily as the Goddess Diana in The House of Mirth
- Free College Essays - The Hidden Meaning of Gulliver's Travels
- Free College Essays - Devon as a Microcosm in Knowles' A Separate Peace
- The Orphan Characters of in Conrad's Heart of Darkness