The Yellow Wallpaper

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“The Yellow Wallpaper”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is gothic psychological short story written in journal-style with first-person narrative. Other elements used in the story are symbols, irony, foreshadowing, and imagery. “The Yellow Wallpaper is about a woman who suffers from postpartum depression. Her husband, a physician, puts her on “rest cure of quiet and solitude.” (Wilson 278). This cure consisted of the narrator being confined to rest in one room and forbidden to do any physical work, read, write, or have any other type of mental stimulation. She secretly kept a journal to write in. The wallpaper in the room irritated the narrator to the point of her asking her
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With no way of showing her feelings and no way of escape, the narrator controls her disappointment and her rage eventually giving way to insanity. The nursery, another important symbol, was decorated with “rings and things.”(Gilman 474). This was the room she was confined in. This room was possibly used to represent the way nineteenth-century people viewed women, as children. The nursery contained barred windows which could be viewed as the emotional, social, and intellectual prison women of that era were kept in. “At night the pattern in the paper becomes clearly bars, like the bars on the windows, and the woman in the wallpaper becomes plainly visible, imprisoned behind the bars at night, just as the young woman imagining her feels imprisoned.” (Kivo 51). Verbal irony is used in the journal especially when the narrator speaks of her husband. She says, “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that.” (Gilman 473). No one in a healthy marriage would expect that. Later she says, “I am glad my case is not serious,” (Gillman 474) at a point where she is obviously concerned that it is very serious. Dramatic irony is used when the narrator assumed Jennie shared her interest in the wallpaper, “I caught Jennie with her hand on it once,” (Gilman 480) when it was clear that Jennie was looking for the source of the yellow stains that were getting on their clothes. Jennie said “the paper stained everything it touched.” (Gilman 480). Situational irony occurred
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