The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The story is about a woman who is suffering from post-partum depression and is prescribed bed rest by her husband. The woman becomes obsessed with the wallpaper in her room and starts to believe that there is a woman trapped behind it. The story is an exploration of the mental health of women, and how they were treated in the 19th century.
The Yellow Wallpaper is a haunting tale of a woman’s descent into madness. The story highlights the lack of understanding of mental illness in the 19th century, and the ways in which women were treated. The story is told through the eyes of the protagonist, who allows us to see her deteriorating mental state. The story is shocking, and ultimately tragic. The Yellow Wallpaper is a must-read for anyone interested in mental health, or in women’s rights.
As time goes on, cultural expectations for women become more and more advanced. However, during the 1800s, Women were seen as lower in society and completely dominated by men. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Gilman uses irony, dialect point of view, and symbolism to display how dangerous it is for a woman to be submissive in a marriage ,as welll as how threated society was/is by demonizing women.
The story is about a woman, who is never named, whose husband has diagnosed her with a “nervous condition”. The woman is prescribed to total bed rest in order to recover from this so-called “illness”. The story is narrated through the woman’s journal entries, which she starts writing in secret because her husband does not want her to write anymore.
The journal becomes increasingly erratic and the wallpaper in the room becomes a fixation for her. The yellow wallpaper comes to symbolize the role of women during this time, and how they were seen as nothing more than property. The woman in the story is slowly driven insane by the confinement that her husband has put her under, and she ultimately ends up harming herself.
The story was written during a time when women were starting to become more vocal about their rights. It is thought that Gilman wrote the story as a way to bring attention to the dangers of treating women as if they are fragile and in need of constant care. The story highlights the lack of autonomy that women had, and how easy it was for men to control them.
The anonymous female narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” provides a stronger argument for the faceless label given to women by being a woman married to John in 19th century and having recently had a baby. While some critics have named the protagonist ‘Jane Doe’, others have tied her name to Charlotte due to Gilman’s autobiographical relationship with this story (Rao 39).
The lack of a name reflects the loss of identity, which is further explored through the rest of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper.
The short story The Yellow Wallpaper was published in 1892 and written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The story is told from the first-person perspective of a woman who is suffering from postpartum depression. The woman is prescribed to a “rest cure” by her husband, which involves being isolated in a room with yellow wallpaper. The woman becomes obsessed with the wallpaper and starts to believe that there is a woman trapped behind it. The story is symbolic of the oppression of women in society and their lack of freedom.
Gilman uses different literary devices to convey the theme of the story. The use of first person point of view allows readers to see the events from the woman’s perspective and understand her mental state. The setting of the story is also symbolic of the woman’s oppression. The yellow wallpaper represents the woman’s confinement and her lack of freedom.
The characters in the story also represent different aspects of society. John, the woman’s husband, represents the patriarchy and its control over women. The woman’s brother-in-law, who is a doctor, represents the medical establishment and its lack of understanding of mental illness.
The Yellow Wallpaper is an important work of feminist literature that addresses the issue of gender inequality. The story highlights the importance of mental health and women’s rights. It is a story that is still relevant today, as it speaks to the experience of many women who suffer from mental illness.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a writer and social reformer during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was an advocate for women’s rights and wrote extensively on the topic of gender inequality. The Yellow Wallpaper is one of her most famous works, and it continues to be studied and discussed by scholars of feminist literature.
By having the narrator be in first person and present tense, Gilman only allows readers to see what Charlotte sees and how she perceives it. This provides readers with an understanding of the feelings of being trapped, isolated, and disconnected that Charlotte eventually experiences.
Her descent into mental illness is gradual, and her first-person account seems level-headed—even when describing events that readers know are impossible. For example, the creeping women in the garden or the woman behind wallpaper struggling to break free. Some might misinterpret this as a ghost story rather than an account of Charlotte’s deteriorating mental state (Kerr).
The title of the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is reflective of both the color of the wallpaper in the nursery and Charlotte’s state of mind. The yellow wallpaper is a symbol of Charlotte’s mental state and her decline into madness. The wallpaper is described as being “faded by the sun and heat” (Gilman 1) and is peeling off the walls. The wallpaper also has a “queer sub-pattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one” (Gilman 1) that seems to move around when Charlotte looks at it.
The color yellow is often associated with instability, cowardice, and illness, which are all indicative of Charlotte’s mental state. The wallpaper is also a physical manifestation of the patriarchy that attempts to control Charlotte. The wallpaper is a “lively document of female oppression” (Kerr) that represents the way society expects women to behave and think. The nursery is also described as being barred, which further reinforces the idea that Charlotte is trapped and her movements are restricted.
The yellow wallpaper also symbolizes Charlotte’s role as a mother. The wallpaper is described as having a “sub-pattern” that consists of “two young children crawling up, away from each other, up the wall” (Gilman 1). This could be interpreted as Charlotte trying to escape her role as a mother or she could be seeing her own children in the wallpaper as she is slowly driven mad. The image of the children could also be interpreted as Charlotte’s own childhood and her attempts to escape the role that society has forced upon her.
The narrator’s obsession with the wallpaper also represents her need for attention and love. The narrator says that she “sometimes fancied that the pattern was like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern” (Gilman 3). The woman behind the wallpaper could be interpreted as Charlotte’s own reflection, or it could be symbolic of the patriarchal society that is trying to control her.