The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Yellow Wallpaper
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman peers into the eyes of a wealthy victorian wife as she slowly loses grasp of her sanity. John, her physician husband, utilizes the best of his blindly male centric medical knowhow to unintentionally guide his wife down the rabbit hole of insanity. As the narrators tip toes the line of lucidity, the seemingly malevolent tattered yellow wallpaper in their new home serves as the McGuffin, facilitating her voyage into madness. The central idea of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is that misdiagnosis and mistreatment can worsen the state of the individual being treated.
The gradual deterioration of the narrators mental state is the driving force behind “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The narrators sanity is depicted as a side thought at the story’s open. “a slight hysterical tendency — what is one to do?” (Gilman 2), the readers first encounter with the narrator’s sickness forges a fallacious veil that assures the reader that there’s little to worry about. As the sickness takes its form, John’s over educated (and most likely excessively lauded) practices of “scheduled prescriptions for each hour” (Gilman 2) keep the narrator under his thumb. Satisfied by the notion that since there is “no reason” (Gilman 3) to suffer, then this sickness must be nothing more than a temporary growth on the surface of their indefectible lives.
John’s treatment allows the sickness to festers day in day out as the narrator becomes obsessed with a woman inhabiting the home’s wallpaper and eventually adopts her mental scape. In the story’s conclusion she “creeps” (Gilman 10) around the bewildered body of her husband, fully enveloped by her ailment.


The tone of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is disturbing so mu...


... middle of paper ...


...ek with derision” (Gilman 9). This image is especially ominous because it crafts something that is uniquely dark. the wallpaper manifests things for the narrator that the reader is incapable of understanding, and lack of understanding among men implies a sense of darkness that the mind craves to know, but stands weary at it’s face.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” allows a steady trickle of mental illness to twist and turns its way down a dry riverbed that sits at the mouth of a floodgate, and as the gates begin to give way the waters of darkness and depression flood the stream and encroach upon the dry land, wetting the readers toes with agitation and unease. The enveloping darkness present at the conclusion of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is cautionary, and serves as a clear warning that lest extreme care be taken in the treatment of the ill, conditions may worsen beyond repair.

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