The, The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The, The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Progressive Era has certainly been the era of progress during those years that it lasted through. However, the lives of those living before and during the time endured many hardships to bring about the change. In particular, women were the group that led strict lives to follow the conducts set by society, their husbands, and even other women. Although some women were educated, they were not allowed to write. But now imagine reading a story about one of those women who is slowly losing her sanity, only to realize at the end of the story that it is written by the crazy woman herself. The reader travels the journey through her perspective alone and is able to feel the raw emotions, such as horror and terror. One way to define horror and terror is that horror is the emotional aspect of fear while terror is the physical response of that fear. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, an unnamed narrator is that woman who recounts her unusual stay at a colonial mansion when her husband confines her in a room to cure her neurasthenia. She observes strange events occurring within the wallpaper of their room that stir her senses wild. The woman’s first person narrative adds horror and terror to the reader’s chilling experience through her description of the setting, interaction with the other characters, and diction that conveys her insanity.
Upon her arrival at the mansion, the narrator already feels the house is somewhat strange. She begins to question the circumstances of the house and assumes that the room she will be staying in is a nursery. She notices the windows are barred for children (Gilman); however, that is not the entire case. As she discovers other objects in the room, such as the gnawed bed nailed to the g...


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...her time. It is terrifying that her own husband fails to question the cause of her insanity. The woman claims it is because of her husband being a physician that perhaps “is one reason I do not get well faster” (Gilman). The husband acted as a tyrant with a loving outer appearance, whispering soft words in the narrator’s ears. If only he had spent more time with the narrator and really tried to understand her situation, the woman would have not lost her insanity as she did. However, John is not be fully blamed as he was simply trying to cure her nervousness through the methods available during their time. Nevertheless, her behavior towards her husband changes from when she wanted to please him at first. At the end, the narrator calls John as “that man”, not her husband or by his name. The tone of it is cold and chilling as if she lost connection to her own husband.

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