Essay on Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper

Essay on Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper

Length: 617 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper  


  "The Yellow Wallpaper," written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the late nineteenth century, explores the dark forbidding world of one woman's plunge into a severe post-partum depressive state. The story presents a theme of the search for self-identity. Through interacting with human beings and the environment, the protagonist creates for herself a life of her own.

Charlotte Gilman, through the first person narrator, speaks to the reader of the stages of psychic disintegration by sharing the narrator's heightened perceptions: "That spoils my ghostliness, I am afraid, but I don't care--there is something strange about the house--I can feel it" (304). The conflicting emotions of power and control versus loss of control are expressed in her reactions to her husband: "I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. . . .so I take pains to control myself--before him at least, and that makes me very tired" (304). The progressive stages of the narrator's loss of reality are eloquently shown in these passages:

I always...

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Themes, Symbols, and Feelings in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- In "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the protagonist symbolizes the effect of the oppression of women in society in the Nineteenth Century. In The Yellow Wallpaper, the author reveals the narrator is torn between hate and love, but emotion is difficult to determine. The effects are produced by the use of complex themes used in the story, which assisted her oppression and reflected on her self-expression. The yellow wallpaper is a symbol of oppression in a woman who felt her duties were limited as a wife and mother....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman]

Better Essays
754 words (2.2 pages)

The Scarlet Letter And The Yellow Wallpaper

- Society creates standard rules that create a barrier between the male and female roles. In most cases, the male comes out on top as the superior breadwinner of the family, while the women stay home and perform the role of the housewife. Therefore, women are limited to having one perspective and do not experience the outside. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman illustrate how the American woman define the limits and experiences a woman has....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Better Essays
1236 words (3.5 pages)

What Others Say about The Yellow Wallpaper

- What Others Say about The Yellow Wallpaper       "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1890 and eventually published in 1892 in the New England Magazine and in William Dean Howells' collection, Great Modern American Stories (Shumaker 94). The story was original not only because of its subject matter, but also because it is written in the form of a loosely connected journal. It follows the narrator's private thoughts which become increasingly more confusing....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1574 words (4.5 pages)

Comparison: A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner & The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” are two short stories that incorporate multiple similarities and differences. Both stories’ main characters are females who are isolated from the world by male figures and are eventually driven to insanity. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the unidentified narrator moves to a secluded area with her husband and sister-in-law in hopes to overcome her illness. In “A Rose for Emily,” Emily’s father keeps Emily sheltered from the world and when he dies, she is left with nothing....   [tags: Isolation, Woman Protagonists, Insanity]

Better Essays
1142 words (3.3 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Gilman

- Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow wallpaper” is about a woman who retreats into an obsessive fantasy, due to the fact that she feels imprisoned in a marriage where she has little to no say in her own life. We learn in the beginning of the story that our character suffers from a nervous disorder, that we now know today as post-partum depression. In the search for a treatment our Narrators husband, John, prescribes “Rest Therapy”. The “Rest Therapy” that is prescribed prevents her from “working”, seeing friends, and enforces isolation....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1168 words (3.3 pages)

Identity and Independence in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- Although "The Yellow Wall-Paper" is fiction, it can be considered almost like Gilman's autobiography since Gilman's life seemed to parallel her main character's life.  What Gilman was trying to express in this work is women's fight for identity and independence (professional work) which are stripped from them by marriage and motherhood. (p799)  In the story, a woman who just gave birth had some complications which resulted in her so called "hysteria" or nervous condition.  She's not allowed to do anything but stare at some yellow wall-paper until she ultimately  loses her mind....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Free Essays
496 words (1.4 pages)

Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays: National Identity

- National Identity and The Yellow Wallpaper Gilman is an author whose writing is based on individuals making up America's collective identity. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is from the vantage points of being a woman, at a time when women were not supposed to have individual thoughts and personalities. At this time in history, the social roles of women were very well-defined: mothers and caretakers of the family, prim and proper creatures that were pleasant to look at, seen but not heard, and irrational and emotional....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Free Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

Search For Freedom in The Yellow Wallpaper

- The “Yellow Wall-Paper” is a reflection of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s personal situations, regarding the protection of the rights of woman. She provides a critique on traditional feminine roles, and women’s desperation to get out of them. In the short story, the author depicts the idea that women conforming to the norms of society can be driven to destruction. Her criticism  of gender conflicts is portrayed through the journal entries of the narrator. In order to illustrate her feminist concerns about gender equality, Gilman employs the characters of John, Jennie, and the narrator....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)

The Fight for Sanity in The Yellow Wallpaper

- The Fight for Sanity in The Yellow Wallpaper         Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper is partly autobiographical and it illustrates the fight for selfhood by a women in an oppressed and oppressive environment.  In the story, the narrator is not allowed to write or think, basically becoming more dysfunctional as she is entrapped in a former nursery room where bars adorn the windows and the bed is nailed to the floor.  In this story there is an obstinacy on behalf of the narrator as she tries to go around her husband's and physician's restrictions, however, there is no resisting the oppressive nature of her environment and she finally surrenders to madness even though it repr...   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Better Essays
1752 words (5 pages)

The Nightmare of The Yellow Wallpaper

- "The Yellow Wallpaper" was one of the first works to chronicle the process of going insane. Its harrowing quality derives from the fact that the author knows whereof she speaks. But even though it is based on Gilman's own breakdown, the story is crafted as a work of art, because the nightmarish motif of the yellow wallpaper itself serves as a metaphor for the disintegration of the protagonist's mind. The narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" has no name. Generally, when the protagonist of a first-person story remains unnamed throughout the work, we take this to mean that the character represents all humankind....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)