The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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When analyzing a literary work, I often consider the setting of the story to be a vivid picture painted for the reader to understand the story better. However, I have learned recently that the setting not only portrays the environment and surroundings, but it also plays a key role in the development of the plot as well as the characters. Therefore, the setting of a certain story has much more power than most people think. It creates a certain environment, helps characters change, helps them come to realizations, it can even control the way they behave. As I was analyzing the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman “The Yellow Wallpaper”, I couldn 't help but notice that the setting had a direct influence on not only the main character of the story, but also the developments of the plot itself.
A young lady is introduced in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, she suffers from a deep depression. She is often nudged to rest, so her husband rents a house for the summer for them to stay in. Right at the beginning, in the first paragraph actually, the author chooses to use elements of gothic fiction after she declared that she feels “something strange about the house.” She describes the place as a gorgeous home, except for a single spacious room on the upper floor filled with light. It turns out, it is the room her husband insisted them stay in. The narrator actually assumes it used to be a nursery before as “the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls.” The yellow wallpaper is the true frustration for the narrator. She describes the color as “repellent, almost revolting: a smouldering unclear yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulp...


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...the short story. The narrator finally sees herself as well as many other women, imprisoned by their husbands. As she notices that all this staring at the wall has pushed her toward the realization that she has been hidden all these years, living up to those expectations and rules created by others. She feels as if she needs to get out, so she ends up stripping the wallpaper and imagines that she “pulls and she shakes” those ugly bars, freeing the women.
Stripping off the wallpaper is her way of declaring her own freedom. She finds strength to be herself once again. She would never have realized that the battle she had with herself is the very thing that is driving her crazy. Thanks to the hideous yellow wallpaper, the narrator is finally able to stand for herself and say this to her husband and the rest of the society: “I’ve got out at last,... you can’t put me back!”

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