Removing Wallpaper Reveals Wall in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

821 Words 4 Pages
The story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is about a female narrator who is suffering from some form of post partum depression that spirals out of control as her husband tries to help by secluding her, in the middle of nowhere for three months. Since the woman is already admittedly unsound, the seclusion makes her fixate severely on yellow wallpaper in her bedroom. Eventually as her story progresses, her fixation becomes an obsession and the wallpaper begins to do things completely improbable. Eventually it becomes impossible to distinguish the facts from the fiction buried amidst her madness. By the end of her story, you realize that nothing this narrator is writing is reliable; because all the people around her notice …show more content…
The countless references to various characters asking our narrator to refrain from anything that makes her mind wonder, shows us she is prone to her mind wondering too far away from reality. Not a single character our narrator references believes she is sound of mind, so from the beginning, we shouldn’t believe she is either.

In the beginning, the paper has little potential other than being ugly. The longer she fixates on the wallpaper the more power it seems to have, and the more power she believes it always had. She remarks about the odor oozing from the wallpaper that is so powerful it gets in her hair and around the house, yet she never commented on it before. She believes she “noticed it the moment” (Schwiebert 232) her and John entered the room, but only her readers know this was never true and never mentioned before. She states suspected the front pattern was moving, from the very beginning, even though she never references it until the paper is so powerful it has a woman living behind it. She never even mentions the patterns existing before then. The narrator isn’t lying to us, the narrator is sick and believes her story, but by this time, its inconsistencies make it unreliable.

The narrator’s obsession with the wallpaper eventually makes her story spin so far out of control, her grasp on reality is completely lost and to every observer it is obvious. She believes people are living in the wallpaper and they come and go
Open Document