Analysis of Charlotte Gilman’s Story "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Decent Essays

Charlotte Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is centered on the deteriorating psychological condition of the female narrator. As a woman in a male dominating society in the 19th century, the narrator has no control over her life. This persistence eventually evolves into her madness. The insanity is triggered by her change in attitude towards her husband, the emergent obsession with the wallpaper and the projection of herself as the women behind the wallpaper. The “rest cure” which was prescribed by her physician husband, created the ideal environment for her madness to extend because, it was in her imagination that she had some freedom and control. As the story begins, the narrator’s relationship with John is already erupting. She does not agree that extensive rest is the best thing for her and feels that “congenial work, with excitement and change,” would be more suitable for her needs. However, she does feel that he knows best and seems consciously guilty of overlooking it. She informs the reader that “I have a scheduled prescription for each hour in the day; he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more” (Gilman 239). These conflicting emotions cause the narrator to have stress. There are times when she wishes she could write in her journal freely, but she knows that John would disapprove and condemn her for it. Writing is her way of expressing feelings and thoughts, but keeps it hidden from John which is tiring. As

Get Access