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The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

Decent Essays
While “[suffering] from a profound melancholic depression”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was prescribed the “rest cure”; out of this horrid experience, “The Yellow Wallpaper” was born (Martin 736). The short story is a first-person account of a woman that is afflicted by a similar fate suffered by Gilman. Due to the lack of understanding psychological illnesses at the time, the nameless narrator’s physician/husband John, applies the rest cure on her, eventually causing her insanity. The narrator, thus, fulfills the unhealable wound archetype because she has a psychological wound that cannot be fully healed, consequently her wound drives her to extreme or desperate measures.
The narrator’s intensifying nervous depression, satisfies the
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The wallpaper also has a pattern that, “[commits] every artistic sin”, but “provokes study”. Eventually, her nervous depression turns into a slight hysteria; “…as emotional disorder increases, psychotic symptoms worsen” (Dunn et al., 2006). Her state of mind declines, she finds it difficult to think straight and becomes obsessed with the pattern on the wallpaper. She states that, “the color is hideous… but the pattern is torturing”, “it is like a bad dream”. She spends her days and nights trying to decode the pattern, until she realizes that at night, the outside pattern becomes bars and, “…the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern… is a woman”. The narrator experiences a psychotic break once she becomes fixated on trying to get the woman out of the wallpaper. With a sense of urgency, she begins to tear the paper off the wall. John’s sister catches her tearing at the wallpaper and says she would do it herself, instantly the narrator becomes defensive and writes, “…no person touches this paper but ME-not alive!” Her emotions run wild, she is incredibly desperate she believes jumping out of a window to be an “admirable exercise”. She decides against jumping out of the window because, “there are so many of those creeping women” outside. It is most disturbing when she asks, “if they all came out of the wallpaper as [she] did”. Having taken off the yellow wallpaper, she believes she
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