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

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

Length: 754 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. The wallpaper shows a sign of female imprisonment. Since the wallpaper is always near her, the narrator begins to analyze the reasoning behind it. Over time, she begins to realize someone is behind the wallpaper that is trapped and is struggling to come through it(Gilman). After the fact, she believes she is also trapped along with the figure behind the wallpaper. The narrator claims her husband John, whom sees his wife as a “little girl”, has trapped her inside the wallpaper also(Gilman). When the narrator tears the wallpaper down, she concludes the wallpaper was the oppression of masculine sunlight and has given her a new identity. As the woman inside of the wallpaper crawled around, the narrator must crawl around her room because the result of “feminist uprising(Feldstein).”
Gilman describes how the narrator’s creativity is being held from her husband John. Since the narrator is ill with a “nervous” disease, he takes advantage on changing her creativity and imagination by forcing her to sacrifice her writing skills. Her husband demands the narrator resume her job as being a wife and mother. Because the narrator is restricted to write, she focused her mind on the yellow wallpaper...


... middle of paper ...


... and Ambiguous Referentiality in 'The Yellow
Wall-Paper.'." The Captive Imagination: A Casebook on "The Yellow Wallpaper". Ed. Catherine Golden New York: Feminist Press, 1992. 307-318. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 201. Detroit: Gale, 307-318. Literature Resource Center. Gale. VALE - Essex County College. 15 Nov. 2009 .

"Overview: 'The Yellow Wallpaper'." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen
Wilson. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Gale. VALE - Essex County College. 15 Nov. 2009 .

The Yellow Wallpaper." Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 201.
Detroit: Gale, Literature Resource Center. Gale. VALE - Essex County College. 15 Nov. 2009 .

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Main Themes of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

- The Main Themes of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper The short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is about a woman who is suffering from depression (probably post-natal) and a nervous breakdown. Whilst trying to recover in an isolated country house, her condition deteriorates as her paranoia takes over. Her condition is not helped by the fact that her husband has forced her to inhabit a room with irritating features, namely the wallpaper. The story contains themes of entrapment, resignation, paranoia and the male domination of the time....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1212 words (3.5 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Gilman

- Author Charlotte Gilman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” gives a personal short story about mental health care during her time. This account is personal, as the character in the story has experiences close to what author Gilman had during her period of receiving the ‘resting cure’ (Gilman). While many themes are described in the short story, the theme of passive health-care is especially prominent. The story delves into particular detail with the administration and effects of the resting cure in regards to the main character’s mental state....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
991 words (2.8 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Gilman

- PPPP Inequality is something that 's plagued almost every society throughout time. Whether it be one 's skin color to the paycheck a person makes, its a prominent disbalance that 's thrown off every culture. One group subjected to such torment has been females. Women were disparaged against well into the 20th century and were only seen fit for domestic functions. Charlotte Gilman 's short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” challenges the social normalities of the early eighteenth century. While back in its time period this novel was read as a tale of horror, now being a more cultivated society, audiences can depict this short story for what Gilman truly intended....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1749 words (5 pages)

The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The Powerful or Powerless Genders The idea of women equality has always been challenged through the nation, especially in the nineteen hundreds. “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is no different in the way that the females are treated in society within this time period. The narrator is treated as less then equal. Through out the story the narrator is belittled and reduced as a woman. With such belittlement within the story of women, the discussion of gender mistreatment is brought forth within the novel....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
759 words (2.2 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Gilman

- In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman, themes of freedom and confinement are explored in the narrator’s internal imprisonment. The narrator, who has been diagnosed by husband with a nervous disorder, seeks refuge in an old house for the summer. She is uncomfortable with the house itself, and her husband gives her strict orders to rest in a singular room. While in this room, she becomes fascinated with the faded yellow wallpaper that decorates the walls, studying the designs in the wallpaper with intensity until she finds what she thinks is a woman trapped behind the wallpaper itself....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Wife, Marriage]

Better Essays
1266 words (3.6 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- When you think about different types of mental disorders in the human body what comes to mind. You may think of the most common disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, or maybe obsessive compulsive disorder. For all the mental disorders that people face on a day-to-day basis have some type of treatment to control it. This can either be prescribing the patient with medicine or providing them with therapy. The short story that I would be discussing about is the Yellow Wallpaper....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Points Of View Support Themes : Yellow Wallpaper And Story Of A Hour

- Victoria Ray Professor S. Smith ENGL 2201 020 28 February 2016 Points of View Support Themes: “Yellow Wallpaper” and “Story of a Hour” Authors use many different elements to portray the theme of a work of literature, such as the point of view, setting, symbolism, and plot. Point of view can play a very important role in communicating the theme, based on who is narrating the story and what the narrator chooses to tell the reader. In two short stories, “Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Story of an Hour” written by Kate Chopin, the different points of view aid the author in sharing the themes of the stories, and play a vital part in how readers interpret these themes....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Fiction]

Better Essays
1298 words (3.7 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]

Better Essays
735 words (2.1 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The 19th century was a remarkable era for the advancement of technology, marking the creation of the cotton gin, light bulb, telegraph, steam locomotive, and other notable inventions that revolutionized the lives of Americans forever. However, with all of these incredible technological advancements, physicians still created ill-informed theories about the rationale behind mental illness. Men, women, and children in the 1800s could be medically diagnosed as "mentally ill” if they showed any signs of religious excitement, domestic unhappiness, physical sickness, or jealousy, whereas today these diagnoses would be seen as foolish and injudicious....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- In the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, there’s a lot of themes present. The narrator of the story is a paradox. During the story the narrator loses touch with the outer world and during that time she comes to a greater understanding of the inner reality of her life. The split between her inner and outer world is decisive to understanding the nature of the narrator’s suffering. She’s faced with relationship, objects and situations that seem virtuous and natural but are extremely bizarre....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Woman]

Better Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)