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Literary Analysis Of The Yellow Wallpaper

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," is the disheartening story of a woman suffering from postpartum depression. The story is set during the late 1890s, and shows the mental and emotional results of the typical "rest cure" prescribed during that era for postpartum depression as well as the narrator’s reaction to this course of treatment. In her story, Gillman portrays the theme of confinement and control. The narrator is forced to hide anxiety and fears to fight the depression and to keep up the pretense of a happy life Gillman begins with a simple title of “The Yellow Wallpaper” which is ironic because yellow is a highly visible and vibrant color that is full of life and wallpaper is used to decorate walls as a means of artistic expression that compliments and adds flair and color. Instead, Gillman uses the premise of the yellow wallpaper to show how confinement can be detrimental during a time in the narrator’s life when her creativity can help her mental state. The purpose of the use of a dingy yellow represents mental illness and the deteriorating emotional state of the narrator. The theme of confinement can be seen from the beginning of the story when the narrator describes the house they will be renting for the summer. “It is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village” (340). This expresses the narrator’s feelings of confinement and loneliness. She knows that her husband doesn’t understand her and she
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