The Lack of Creativity in the Yellow Wallpaper

1209 Words Oct 31st, 2015 5 Pages
Lack of Creativity and Isolation in “The Yellow Wallpaper”
In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents an unnamed woman who gradually spirals into a state of mental psychosis. Gilman sought to bring attention to the unfair treatment of women in the nineteenth century. She uses this story to reveal to the audience that the narrator’s insanity stems from her isolation from society, and her inability to be expressive and creative through writing. Throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator is locked away in an isolated room, which was supposed to cure her mental disorder but instead it makes her worse. With the windows barred and the doors locked she is secluded from society. She wishes to go visit her cousin Henry and
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The “work” that she is referencing here is her writing, and she disagrees with her husband and brother’s idea that she should not be writing. Instead, she believes that if she is permitted to work, or write, her condition would improve. Her opinions are not taken into consideration, thus she is obligated to write in secret. The first evidence that indicates that the narrator was driven to insanity due to lack of expression is when the narrator writes that “[she] did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust [her] a good deal – having to be so sly about it” (Gilman 86). The narrator is intending to say that it is the hiding that is exhausting, not the writing itself. The narrator experiences considerable obstacles every time she attempts to express herself through writing. Every time she writes in her journal she has to stop herself when her husband arrives because, “he hates to have [her] write a word” (Gilman 87). The narrator even has to shield herself from her sister-in-law Jennie, “There comes John’s sister. Such a dear girl as she is, and so careful of me! I must not let her find me writing” (Gilman 89). Jennie is in the house to look after her when her husband is gone, and she worries that if Jennie catches her writing she will…

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