The Yellow Wallpaper, By Doris Lessing

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Doris Lessing

Length: 1305 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Depression is an illness often misunderstood by the individual and their family. One symptom of depression is isolation and in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Doris Lessing’s short story, “To Room Nineteen” the protagonists feel trapped and unfulfilled in their ordinary lives causing them to become depressed. The emotional and physical battle both these characters undergo reveal many striking similarities, despite the origin and breaking points of their provoking thoughts and actions. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Doris Lessing’s short story “To Room Nineteen,” both protagonists experience isolation from the world and people around them.
Susan, the protagonist in “To Room Nineteen” feels trapped by her life and her family, and plagued by her husband’s infidelity. Everyone assumes Susan and her husband, Matthew, are the perfect couple who have made all the right choices in life but when Susan packs her youngest children off too school and discovers that her husband has been having etramartial affairs, she begins to question the life decisions she has made. Susan embarks on a journey of self-discovery that ultimately becomes a descend into madness. Susan chooses to isolate herself from her own family.
Unlike Susan, the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” initially wants contact and interaction with people but is denied it by her husband. The woman thinks she would be better off being a part of the community, interacting with others. She tries telling her husband, John, that she feels something isn 't right saying, "You see, he does not believe I am sick!" (597). She wants social connection, not isolation and believes that "congenial work, with excitement an...


... middle of paper ...


...8). For so many similar details within both stories, the conclusions are completely different, but both ended in tragedy.
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Doris Lessing’s “To Room Nineteen,” both the protagonists experience different types of emotional turmoil and as a result causes their isolation from the world and people around them. In both stories, the protagonists become different people behind the closed doors of their self-induced isolation choosing to keep their disappoint hidden from their husbands. However, the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” gives in to insanity and becomes the character her imagination created while Susan in “To Room Nineteen” gives in to her addiction of isolation, letting it take her life. The individuals in these two stories show how easily depression is misunderstood and how easily it is to become isolated.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Doris Lessing

- Depression is an illness oftentimes misunderstood by the individual and their family. One symptom of depression is isolation and in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Doris Lessing’s short story, “To Room Nineteen,” the protagonists feel trapped and unfulfilled in their ordinary lives causing them to become depressed. The battle both these characters undergo reveal many compelling similarities, despite the origin and breaking points of their disturbing thoughts and actions....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Strong Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on A Review of Doris Lessing's Flight

- The short story Flight is written by Doris Lessing about a old man learning of letting go of his granddaughter as she grows into an adult and is about to get married. The story is told in an omniscient third person point of view and this enables us to see into the minds of all characters, which inturn help us to understand their feelings and attitudes. When story are told in an omniscient way, the readers will have a better understanding of what is going on in the story. This story not only described what the old man is feeling, but also other characters....   [tags: Doris Lessing's Flight]

Free Essays
587 words (1.7 pages)

Doris Lessing's The Fifth Child Essay

- In her novel The Fifth Child, published in 1988, Doris Lessing examines how one couple’s search for happiness has tragic implications. In this case, the couple, David and Harriet, and the family are slowly destroyed by the presence of the fifth child, Ben, who is unattractive, shows no emotions or attachments to other people, and is destructive. The other children in the family seem to be able to cope on a normal, socially acceptable level, but Ben never seems to be able to grasp acceptable behavior....   [tags: Doris Lessing Fifth Child Essays]

Strong Essays
3093 words (8.8 pages)

Analysis of Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing Essay

- Analysis of Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing “ Through The Tunnel” is written by a lady called Doris Lessing. Through the tunnel is a short story about a boy called Jerry and his mother who are on holiday in Spain. There are three themes to the story, the first is the safe beach . The second is the dangerous beach. The third is when jerry goes through the tunnel. The characters are introduced on their first day on holiday where they are going to the safe beach. It begins when they are walking to the beach and jerry stops to look at the other beach (dangerous beach), Jerry’s mother stops and looks for him and asks if he wants to go to that beach instead....   [tags: Through the Tunnel Doris Lessing Essays]

Strong Essays
958 words (2.7 pages)

The, By Doris Lessing Essays

- ... People would be trying to persuade a person in the group to get on their side so they can try to get a group decision. We have been specifically affected by group minds when somebody says “this is so easy” and everybody else agrees not to sounds soft or weak. This is really common among groups of males, because most males have big egos and never want to seem weak around other males. In my personal observation I have seen males not to show weakness in front of males, I would know I went to an all boys high school....   [tags: Mind, Thought, Psychology, MIND]

Strong Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper

- The Narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator becomes more depressed throughout the story because of the recommendation of isolation that was made to her. In this short story the narrator is detained in a lonesome, drab room in an attempt to free herself of a nervous disorder. The narrator’s husband, a physician, adheres to this belief and forces his wife into a treatment of solitude. Rather than heal the narrator of her psychological disorder, the treatment only contributes to its effects, driving her into a severe depression....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper]

Strong Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)

Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper             The Room itself represents the author’s unconscious protective cell that has encased her mind, represented by the woman, for a very long time. This cell is slowly deteriorating and losing control of her thoughts. I believe that this room is set up as a self-defense mechanism when the author herself is put into the asylum. She sets this false wall up to protect her from actually becoming insane and the longer she is in there the more the wall paper begins to deteriorate....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Strong Essays
1463 words (4.2 pages)

Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays - Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper                 Throughout history people have always seemed to follow what notions that were considered "cool". Though I doubt that "cool" was the word used to describe these notions they were still there in some form or another. One of the greatest farces ever committed in the name of these popular perceptions was medicine. At that time, medicine that was on the cutting edge seem to have always involved some sort of noxious chemical or a typically atrocious diet....   [tags: The Yellow Wallpaper Essays]

Free Essays
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Male Dominance in The Yellow Wallpaper

- Male Dominance in The Yellow Wallpaper           The story of The Yellow Wallpaper reflects the period where men dominated women.  The real meaning of this story is written hidden behind it.  The author had used a writing style that is taking objects portraying men, women, and society.           The story first starts off a couple have moved to a house. A so- called haunted house, her wife describes it.  The wife, who is a patient of her husband, has moved here to cure her sickness.  She does not admit that she has a problem.  Everyday she keeps looking at the tore yellow wallpaper....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper essays]

Free Essays
589 words (1.7 pages)

Doris Lessing Essay

- Doris Lessing Doris Lessing is considered a South African writer, although Africa is not the place of her birth. She was, in fact, born in Persia (now Iran) to British parents in 1919. As a child, she and her parents moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she lived until 1949 (Sage, 15). White colonists had not previously settled in the part of Africa to which her family moved (Charters 894). In 1949 she moved to London where she still, apparently, resides. Lessing's life appears characterized by displacement....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Free Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)