Throughout history the female species has been treated like second-class citizens by their seemingly more powerful male counterparts. From being denied the right to vote to being excluded from the work place, the woman’s rights have been oppressed as her husband, father, and brothers were offered the world without limitations. Why should she be told that her dreams are limited to the home, as her brother sits upon the same knee but is told to go out and conquer his aspirations no matter how impractical? In recent years, women’s rights activists have made great strides towards gender equality. One could logically attribute some of this progress to writers like Charlotte Perkins Gilman who raise awareness of social injustice through their …show more content…
She describes it looking as if it has a “broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down” (Gilman 649). This signifies the narrator becoming consumed by the pattern in the wallpaper. Later, the author shows how her obsession intensifies by describing a “yellow” smell coming from the wallpaper. This smell didn’t seem to bother the narrator much at the start, but after she becomes preoccupied with the paper, her mind is lost to everything else and she begins to take notice of every intricate detail. It’s as if the wallpaper now has the ability to follow her anywhere within the house through its smell, much like society’s expectations constantly haunting her. By using vivid detail to place the reader in the narrator’s mind, Gilman effectively communicates society’s effect on mentally ill women, giving the reader a better understanding of what it must have been like to live in Jane’s shoes. Another literary element used often in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is irony. Gilman uses irony throughout the story to make a point about the social injustice faced by mentally ill women. “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in a marriage,” (Gilman 647) the narrator states nonchalantly at the beginning of the story, before explaining John as a practical man with no faith in the unseen. She uses sarcasm here to bring attention to the fact that her husband obviously doesn’t take
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The purpose of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is to tell the reader that you can have negative effect on someone’s mental health if they are denied their freedom of expression. This is because the narrator (Jane) was kept in a room that had yellow wallpaper, which she did not like. Soon after being unable to work or write Jane began to see creepy figures in the wallpaper and everyday it got worse, she soon began to see a women trapped in the wallpaper. This began to feed her hallucinations and paranoia that someone else is going to find out about this women, and help her escape the yellow wallpaper. This made Jane insane, she would see women walking around outside, and she soon became addicted to the room and writing about the wall in her journal.
The surroundings which one is placed in can drastically contribute to their mental state. Deterioration and a lack of stimulation will be reciprocated within the mind of the inhabitant. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, depicts a young, unnamed woman who is suffering with post-partum depression. In this time period, the treatment of mental illness typically did more harm than good as electroshock therapy, and the rest cure were the classic treatments of choice. Similarly, William Faulkner, the author of “A Rose for Emily”, written in 1930, gives the reader an inside look upon an elderly woman experiencing mental distress. Although there are major signs of an issue being present within Miss Emily’s old, southern house, the town chooses to ignore and cover them up as to not disrupt the elderly woman who buys poisons without a reason and sleeps next to the dead corpse of her lover. Theme and setting play two very distinct and important roles within each of these stories allowing the reader to have a more complete understanding of the message the author is trying to convey.
By comparing both stories together, and the characters within them, it is clear that neither the narrator from “The Yellow Wallpaper” or Harrison from “Harrison Bergeron” agree with the way they are being treated caused by their social, political and economic standpoint in society. In both stories they have opposing forces trying to dictate their life, and telling them who they are supposed to be. Within the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator is being authorized by her husband john and in the story “Harrison Bergeron”, Harrison is being oppressed by his government system. In both societies of the stories, the characters are treated differently for who they are. The people to have more power in their lives, decide who they are and what they can be. The ultimate outcome of their life is up to the forces controlling them. Both characters have no way to escape the labels given to them, without going against the people restraining their potential. The characters have many good attributes to them, but are confined to being what others tell them to be. The narrator has wonderful writing skills and an active mind which allows her to be creative and have an artistic personality, but her husband will not allow her to write or be who she wants to be because he has the capability to control who she is. Harrison is a genius and an athlete who could build upon his abilities to better himself as a person both mentally and physically, but the government will not allow him to
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” she discusses some of the issues found in 19th century society such as women’s oppression and the treatment of mental illness. Many authors throughout history have written stories that mimic their own lives and we see this in the story. We see Gilman in the story portrayed as Jane, a mentally unstable housewife who cannot escape her husband’s oppression or her own mind. Gilman reveals a life of depression and women’s oppression through her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
“The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Gilman is a chilling portrayal of a woman’s downward spiral towards madness after undergoing treatment for postpartum depression in the 1800’s. The narrator, whose name remains nameless, represents the hundreds of middle to upper- class women who were diagnosed with “hysteria” and prescribed a “rest” treatment. Although Gilman’s story was a heroic attempt to “save people from being driven crazy” (Gilman p 1) by this type of “cure” it was much more. “The Yellow Wallpaper” opened the eyes of many to the apparent oppression of women in the 1800’s and “possibly the only way they could (unconsciously) resist or protest their traditional ‘feminine’
The yellow wallpaper represents society. The gates you see her in front of the background image symbolize freedom. The lights illuminating right through the window represents the power of men. The woman behind the gates seeks escape the control of men. Also, as it becomes more complex, she begins to see women behind it which shows the problem is worse and she become more mentally unstable. “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over ( Gilman 9).” women trailing behind the picture shows it feels confined to the walls of the room. The narrator breaks yellow wallpaper not willing to accept how bad is her mental state. ' 'I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house ' '( Gilman ). This statement reveals the wishes of the narrator want to think independently. Here we can see how women of 19th century thought. women prefer not to think about their condition rather than fight his place in society.
All throughout history there has been a stigma around mental illness and feminism. “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the 1900’s. “The Yellow Wallpaper” has many hidden truths within the story. The story was an embellished version her own struggle with what was most likely post-partum depression. As the story progresses, one can see that she is not receiving proper treatment for her depression and thus it is getting worse. Gilman uses the wallpaper and what she sees in it to symbolize her desire to escape her depression and the controlling nature of the patriarchal society of the twentieth century. The story shows an inside look into the thoughts and feelings of a person with a mental illness such as depression. Gilman also uses symbolism to showcase how the male figures in her life had control over her well-being more than she did. Both her husband and doctor hindered her from healing by not listening to her when she expressed what she felt would help her. She does not clearly say that she feels overwhelmed by the patriarchal society of the 1900’s; however, one can infer this by her wording and actions throughout the course of the story. Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses “The Yellow Wallpaper” to reveal the truths of a woman’s everyday struggles in a patriarchal society and also the deeper struggles of a woman with depression.
At the end of the story, the husband has died. This could be seen as the womans “freedom”. Linda Wagner-Martin writes “She wins back her language, and vanquishes her husband--who has neither speech nor action by the end of the story. He lies as if dead in the path of her highly functional movement, and she simply crawls over him. The wallpaper has replaced the writing paper that he would have taken from her, and she has in some ways won back her right to speech and control.” The theme of the writing is the role of women in this time period and their dependence on men but at the end of her writing she has taken control.
In “The Yellow wallpaper”, the wallpaper is a metaphor that expresses women’s protest against the repression of the society and their personal identity at the rise of feminism. During the Victorian era, women were kept down and kept in line by their married men and other men close to them. "The Yellow Wallpaper", written By Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a tale of a woman, her mental difficulties and her husband’s so called therapeutic treatment ‘rest cure’ of her misery during the late 1800s. The tale starts out in the summer with a young woman and her husband travelling for the healing powers of being out from writing, which only appears to aggravate her condition. His delusion gets Jane (protagonist), trapped in a room, shut up in a bed making her go psychotic. As the tale opens, she begins to imagine a woman inside ‘the yellow wallpaper’.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator and protagonist of the story, who does not have a name, is mentally ill and leaves her illness in the hands of her physician husband, John. To help cure her illness, John takes her to this luxurious house away from human interaction in which she is put in a room. The first thing she notices about the room is the yellow wallpaper. Automatically, she sees the wallpaper and is disgusted by the color. She illustrates the wallpaper for the readers,
The yellow wallpaper symbolizes Jane’s depression and her struggle with her overwhelming mental illness. At night, Jane lies awake studying the paper desperately trying to keep watch over the woman behind it (316). Gilman shows that Jane’s depression
Gilman uses the literary method of irony in almost every aspect of “The yellow wallpaper”. The author utilizes irony to reveal how depression disguises itself under denial as those forced to live in refusal to recognize its presence. Thus, this permits the illness to degenerate while undetected. Presenting the husband, the narrator describes that he is a physician and away often and most nights. She exclaims, “I am glad my case is not serious! But these nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing” (Gilman 240). Here, irony appears as the narrator states her case “is not
In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman creates a character of a young depressed woman, on the road to a rural area with her husband, so that she can be away from writing, which appears to have a negative effect on her psychological state. Lanser says her husband “heads a litany of benevolent prescriptions that keep the narrator infantilized, immobilized, and bored literally out of her mind. Reading or writing herself upon the wallpaper allows the narrator to escape her husband’s sentence and to achieve the limited freedom of madness which constitutes a kind of sanity in the face of the insanity of male dominance” (432). In the story both theme and point of view connect and combine to establish a powerful picture of an almost prison-type of treatment for conquering depression. In the story, Jane battles with male domination, because she is informed by both her husband and brother countless brain shattering things about her own condition that she does not agree with. She makes every effort to become independent, and she desires to escape from the burdens of that domination. The Yellow Wallpaper is written from the character’s point of view in a structure similar to a diary, which explains her time spent in her home. The house is huge and old with annoying yellow wallpaper in the bedroom. The character thinks that there is a woman behind bars in the design of the wallpaper. She devotes a great deal of her