This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Yellow Wallpaper

1296 words - 6 pages

The Yellow Wallpaper
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, highlights the repressed position of most married women during the 19th century. The narrator struggles both at the hands of her family members and internally. Her husband John, a physician, makes an effort to alleviate his wife’s mental state by moving their family into an old style home located in a remote area and isolating her as much as possible. He determines that it is unhealthy for her to entertain, interact with their baby, even to write which she seems to enjoy a great deal. When approaching “The Yellow Wallpaper” one has to keep in mind the importance of the title itself. John decides on their ...view middle of the document...

She put on a front in for her husband which is noticeable during their conversation on improvement in her eating habits, “…my appetite may be better in the evening when you are here, but it is worse in the morning when you are away”(Gilman 3). This quote from the story shows that the narrator suppresses her unhealthy habits as not to upset her husband. She states at several points that she simply puts on a show for her husband, not wanting to disappoint him at all. That was the expectation of the obedient wife during this time period. So the narrator attempts and fails to maintain herself and allows her mind to play tricks on her that finally takes her over.
Gilman uses imagery in the story to relate the yellow wallpaper to the life of the narrator. Gilman is able to use the description of the wallpaper to suggest the mood and mind state of the narrator. Each time she discusses a change in direction the reader can relate that back to the sharp changes in the writing and mind of the narrator. The narrator states that the lines of wallpaper will at certain points “plunge off at outrageous angles” (Gilman 1). This quote creates a word picture of chaos as the reader can compare that the reader can compare to the chaotic direction in the mind of the narrator. When she speaks of her husband or sarcastically harps on just how caring he is she jumps back to the wallpaper. As if thinking about or writing about her husband triggers thoughts of the yellow wallpaper and its obstructive pattern and the woman trapped behind it. The breaks in her stream of consciousness match the breaks that she hates so much in the wallpaper.
Not only is the design of the wallpaper reflective of the narrator’s consciousness but the color as well. Gilman did not choose the color yellow haphazardly. This choice in color by the author can be seen as a sign of the frailty in the narrator as she was too introverted to speak up for herself and stand firmly against her husband. The narrator herself speaks of the color of the paper with contempt. She said, “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow” (Gilman 1). Yellow, the color of the paper, represents in some respects cowardice. Her comments on just how disastrous the wallpaper is reflect the same disorder in her thoughts. This is the internal conflict within the short story. The narrator suffers a mental breakdown which is prolonged by the denial of her husband, John who attempts to tell her exactly what it is that she is feeling. The narrator’s pent up and repressed energies and thoughts found the wallpaper as an outlet. She obsessed over it until finally...

Other Papers Like Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

1014 words - 5 pages The Yellow Wallpaper Being deprived of imagination and freedom by her husband, the distraught narrator’s gradual obsession of the wallpaper ultimately portrays a reflection of her own trapped, hopeless life. At the beginning of the short story, the unnamed narrator first explains her unique predicament: Her husband John, who is also a doctor, diagnoses her with “temporary nervous depression.” As a result, John puts her on medication and they

The Yellow Wallpaper

1062 words - 5 pages The Yellow Wallpaper: A Woman's Struggle Pregnancy and childbirth are very emotional times in a woman's life and many women suffer from the "baby blues." The innocent nickname for postpartum depression is deceptive because it down plays the severity of this condition. Although she was not formally diagnosed with postpartum depression, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) developed a severe depression after the birth of her only child

"The Yellow Wallpaper" Analysis

1254 words - 6 pages Rachael Paige 6/14/15 Introduction to Literature Writing Assignment 1 “The Yellow Wallpaper” Analysis After reading the short story again, my views of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman have stayed mostly consistent with a few deviations from my original reaction. I’ve read the story with a more focused desire on understanding it much more in depth than the first time. I tried to pick up on some more literary details like

The Yellow Wallpaper

1309 words - 6 pages Women in the 19th century were expected to stay at home and care for their family. It was looked down upon when they used their minds creatively. They were not taken seriously and were given the rest cure when they showed signs of a mental illness. In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrators instability was not taken seriously by her husband. She was trapped in a house, in one small room, which was no

The Yellow Wallpaper - 518 words

518 words - 3 pages The Yellow Wallpaper The narrator starts off the story by talking about a large old house. She and her husband John are on a summer vacation for three months at this house. The house is a large estate that has been empty for many years, she describes it as haunted. She goes on and says she is sick with temporary nervous depression, one of the reasons they are staying at this house is to help her feel better by getting her fresh air. The

The Yellow Wallpaper - 559 words

559 words - 3 pages breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was told not to write; it was most forbidden of it. They believed writing excited a woman too much; such a thing was not to be heard of. In that 1880's time a woman was to tend to her husband and the house hold. The room that I stayed in had the most absurd wallpaper. It was yellow, and it some areas it was faded or torn. I despised the wallpaper, but my dear husband said, "My love if I fix the wall paper then

Suppression And The Yellow Wallpaper

1671 words - 7 pages of suppression can be used to analyze Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." Supporting Freud's claim, suppressing one's powerful emotions can lead to hysterical symptoms in a variety of forms, as portrayed in "The Yellow Wallpaper." The narrator's suppressed emotions about her illness and lack of say in her marriage cause a change of sense of self in her, leading to several phases in the narrator's sense of identity over time, such as: a

The Yellow Wallpaper Psychoanalytic Criticism

1328 words - 6 pages Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," first published in 1892, is a study of social degeneration into madness. As such it may seem an unlikely focus of American literary realism; yet it is a very fine illustration of realist symbolism. The furnishings of the narrator's room become a microcosm of the world that squeezes her into the little cell of her own mind, and the wallpaper represents the state of that mind. The

The Yellow Wallpaper Point Of View

686 words - 3 pages “The Yellow Wallpaper” “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story about a young woman whose husband takes her to a country home for the summer in order for her to get some rest and fresh air to cure her of her nervousness, but she has an obsession with the wallpaper and ends up going completely mad. The narrator is a mother of an infant and wife of a physician, John, who decides that her nervous condition can be cured

Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays: Women's Subordination

941 words - 4 pages Women's Subordination in The Yellow Wallpaper         "The Yellow Wallpaper," written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a chilling study of insanity. It is a bitter story of a young woman driven to insanity by a "loving" husband-doctor, who imposes Mitchell's "rest cure."1 This short story vividly reflects a woman in torment. This story starts out with a hysterical woman who is overprotected by her "loving" husband John. She is

The Storm and the Yellow Wallpaper - Literary Elements and Themes

1004 words - 5 pages The Storm and The Yellow Wallpaper In both “The Storm” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, literary elements such as symbolism and metaphor play big parts in explaining what the protagonists are going through. The protagonist in each story is a woman who was repressed in her life. Both characters have been driven to do the things that they may not have done had it not been for their respective repressive

Related Essays

Yellow Wallpaper

708 words - 3 pages To a large extent the narrator of ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ is a reflection of women in contemporary society. Contemporary society may be defined as the society of when ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ takes place. One may know the story takes place in the nineteenth century, during which women faced inequality in the society. Hence, with the knowledge that the narrator of ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ is under dictation and oppression of her husband and her own perspective of

The Yellow Wallpaper 819 Words

819 words - 4 pages “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte P. Gilman, author of the “The Yellow Wallpaper”, was born on June 3, 1860, and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. Gilman wrote the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” in 1890 based off “his personal experience with a ‘rest cure’” (Wilson 279). After two years “The Yellow Wallpaper” finally got published in “1892 in the New England Magazine” to become a very popular and eye opening short story (Wilson 287). In the

The Yellow Wallpaper 1260 Words

1260 words - 6 pages The Yellow Wallpaper By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conflict is the commotion that is created between characters or their ideas. It could also be the mental dilemma a character might face. In the Yellow Wallpaper, a short story written in the early 1890s in California was able to show a range of conflicts. The Yellow Wallpaper is about a woman who has given birth and is suffering from postpartum depression which was not discovered during that

The Yellow Wallpaper 943 Words

943 words - 4 pages The Yellow Wallpaper The writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman writes the short story ‘’The Yellow Wallpaper’’, in 1899. A period of time where women weren’t allowed to have equal rights or the same opportunities as men had because of the male dominated society. The short story is written in first person narrator with a limited point of view. The narrators’ husband, named John, is a physician and she is very dominated by him. She is mentally ill