Most women in America nowadays are lucky enough to consider themselves to be an independent individual, but females were not always guaranteed their freedoms. Throughout the early 1900’s, authors would characterize husbands to be controlling figures. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins demonstrates just how possessive the husband is to his wife in their marriage. This short story shows just how miserable the woman is to be in a marriage with John because John, thinks it would be best that his wife is isolated to get over her postpartum depression.“The Yellow Wallpaper” demonstrates how a male dominated society leads to the woman not being their own individual by using characterization, narrator perspective, and conflict between women and society.
The description of the house by the woman is positively somehow. However, she is disturbed by some elements such as; “the rings and things” in the walls, and that the bars on the windows keep showing up. In addition, what was disturbing her the most is the yellow wall paper which is creepy with a formless pattern and that leads her to be totally insane. Readers are introduced to the woman’s desperate thoughts and feelings, yet her husband came and interrupted her thoughts and she was forced to stop writing. Furthermore, she always complains that her husband John who is a physician belittles her illness, her own thoughts and that makes her more depressed. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a deep feminist story that shows the unequal relationship between women and men in the 19th century and uses the yellow
Throughout the beginning of the story, the wife continually references the things “John says” (844-5). That indicates to me that she is timid and perhaps frightened of him. “John says this,” and “John says that,” shows me that our narrator doesn’t feel permitted to have a thought that is her own. The story’s unilateral male, as well as unilateral female conversations are friendly and comfortable. However, male to female conversation in the writing is dominant, aggressive, assertive and sometimes dangerous. Female to male exchanges appear delicate, soft and understanding, always agreeing with the male perspective. I would consider women in this time period to be viewed as a pet or toy to the male, dominant figure in her life. The use of the words in this short is very important, and gives you the information to interpret the story. For instance, on page 845 it says, “It was a nursery first, then a playroom and gymnasium. I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children.” This discloses that our woman has post-partum depression. At the very least, she feels as if she is trapped or in an asylum within her own home. Perhaps this feeling of entrapment lends itself to driving her mad. It is no surprise that the woman feels trapped behind the pattern of the yellow wallpaper. Her days and nights are filled with constant repetition of the same nothingness. She is left with little to
In ?The Yellow Wallpaper? it seems that the narrator wishes to drive her husband away, spending the entire time hoping for freedom. She explains, ?John is away all day, and even some nights when his cases are serious. I am glad my case is not serious? (Gilman). She is glad to see her husband away so that she may be left alone to do as she pleases without interference from her husband. She is frequently rebelling against her husband?s orders. She writes in her journal and tries to move her bed when there is no one around to see. However, she always keeps an eye out for someone coming.
The yellow wallpaper is a symbol of oppression in a woman who felt her duties were limited as a wife and mother. The wallpaper shows a sign of female imprisonment. Since the wallpaper is always near her, the narrator begins to analyze the reasoning behind it. Over time, she begins to realize someone is behind the
Women in history stood best known for a less ascendant sex in the mid-nineteen centuries. Since times have gone by women had fought for their equal rights and freedom. There had been many stereotypes, where the women were considered as a slave to the men’s because the women’s position was to be the homemakers and a mother to their children, while the men’s are out socializing with others. If they were not happy with the marriage, they cannot just walk out or complain because a women role is to endure all these pains without a word coming out of their mouths. Two out of the ordinary short stories, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of An Hour,” mostly focused on a women’s dilemma that they faced near the 19th century. The two main characters in the short stories show some resemblances in some ways, but both characters portrayed them in different ways of how they dealt their sorrows in their marriages.
Due to their behavior, both men lead their wives to rebel. John’s controlling behavior causes the narrator to abandon him by going completely mad. First, she questions John’s pronouncements. The narrator believes that congenial work, with excitement and change would do her good (p.297). Next, she focuses on the wallpaper. She describes its negative features noting that patches are gone as if school boys wore it out (p.298). Upset by her husband’s actions, the narrator decides to begin writing in secret. . It reaches the point where the narrator has to hide her writings from him, because he gets upset if she even writes a word (p.298). -After time passes, we see her obsession grow. John seems to be oblivious to the narrator’s conditions, telling her “you know the place is doing you good” (p.299). She notices that the pattern is torturing (p.303). Finally, she begins to see a woman hiding behind the pattern (p.304). Looking for the woman in the pattern gives her something to look forward to (p.305). Ultimately she comes to believe that she is the woman in the wallpaper and wants to free herself. She begins peeling off the paper through the night, and by morning removes all the paper she could while standing (p.307). The narrator even begins to contemplate jumping out of the window, but does not
However, the most important aspect of this room is the yellow wallpaper. The narrator despises it, loathing the colour and it’s pattern. She writes that it is “. . .dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide--plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.” (Gilman). This description of the wallpaper serves the purpose to show the reader the unjust restrictions of society that the narrator is subjected to; “. . .commentators have seen in this description of the wallpaper a general representation of “the oppressive structures of society in which [the narrator] finds herself” (Madwoman 90), . . .” (Haney-Peritz 116). The statement of “dull enough to confuse the eye” and “constantly irritating and provoking study” are alluding to the narrator’s sense of inferiority and burden while the “lame and uncertain curves” are referencing the absurd suggestions that her husband is providing. Finally the “suicide” is the unfortunate fate that is destined to occur if his counsel is followed. When describing the wallpaper the narrator writes that “The color is repellent, almost
The yellow wallpaper is the most obvious symbol found in the story. The yellow wallpaper symbolizes how women were portrayed in the nineteenth century. In the story the narrator describes the wallpaper as "One of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns, pronounced enough sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough constantly to irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide - plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard-of contraindications" (Gilman 545). The narrator basically feels that her life is dull and boring which can lead to her committing suicide. Later on in the story the wallpaper was described as “The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing. You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well underway in following, it turns back somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you. It is like a bad dream” (Gilman 548). The pattern in the wallpaper basically represents the narrator’s mindset. The narrator calls herself “hideous” and “unreliable.” Women during this time period were often view as “unreliable”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," is the disheartening tale of a woman suffering from postpartum depression. Set during the late 1890s, the story shows the mental and emotional results of the typical "rest cure" prescribed during that era and the narrator’s reaction to this course of treatment. It would appear that Gilman was writing about her own anguish as she herself underwent such a treatment with Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell in 1887, just two years after the birth of her daughter Katherine. The rest cure that the narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" describes is very close to what Gilman herself experienced; therefore, the story can be read as reflecting the feelings of women like herself who suffered through
The Yellow Wallpaper is a story which shows the anatomy of an oppressive marriage. Simply because the narrator does not cherish the joys of married life and motherhood, and therefore, is in
The structure of the text, particularly evident in the author’s interactions with her husband, reveals the binary opposition between the façade of a middle-class woman living under the societal parameters of the Cult of Domesticity and the underlying suffering and dehumanization intrinsic to marriage and womanhood during the nineteenth century. While readers recognize the story for its troubling description of the way in which the yellow wallpaper morphs into a representation of the narrator’s insanity, the most interesting and telling component of the story lies apart from the wallpaper. “The Yellow Wallpaper” outwardly tells the story of a woman struggling with post-partum depression, but Charlotte Perkins Gilman snakes expressions of the true inequality faced within the daily lives of nineteenth century women throughout the story. Although the climax certainly surrounds the narrator’s overpowering obsession with the yellow wallpaper that covers the room to which her husband banished her for the summer, the moments that do not specifically concern the wallpaper or the narrator’s mania divulge a deeper and more powerful understanding of the torturous meaning of womanhood.
John has placed his wife in a prison. The disturbing stained and yellowed wallpaper is used, faded and repulsive. The color is one that is unwelcoming, uncomfortable, and uneasy; its color mirrors the narrator's relationship with her husband, and ultimately, with herself. The narrator is uncomfortable and anxious in the barred sulfur colored room where she is fussed over by her husband. John preens his wife, his possession, making the narrator draw further and further away from him. She realizes that her husband lacks the understanding that she craves. This is emphasized as John refuses to accept his wife's condition; "John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him" (248). As the narrator begins to recognize herself as her husband's caged belonging, she becomes more attached to the symbol of the wallpaper. Instead of attempting to understand, John reduces his wife to the status of a child. He repeatedly refers to her as his "blessed little goose"
The narrator’s feelings of inferiority and powerlessness parallels the female figure she sees trapped behind the pattern in the wall-paper adorning her room. She gradually withdraws from both John and reality by locking herself in the room and ultimately merging with the figure. Through the changing image of the pattern from a “fait figure” (Gilman 46) to a “woman stooping” (Gilman 46) behind the paper and “shaking the bars” (Gilman 46) as if she wanted “to get out” (Gilman 46), we can see her becoming one with the figure: “I pulled and she shook, I shook and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper.”(51) Her collapse into madness as reflected in her behavior with the “bedstead [that] is fairly gnawed” (Gilman 51) and her “creeping all around” (Gilman 50) is a direct result of her passive submissiveness to John’s control of her life.
The author shows how much the character needs freedom that the husband prevents her from getting it. This creates the complication and the plot of the story. She goes ahead to enhance it using strong characters and a vivid setting ( the house containing the yellow wall paper) which helps in maintaining the attention of the readers and also attracting more readers. In developing the plot, the author sends a significant amount of time on details and remains focused on it by ensuring that each entry in the journal made by the narrator has a meaning and adds to the overall progress of the story.