“The Yellow Wallpaper”
An opinion on the critical essay “Haunted House/Haunted Heroine: Female Gothic Closets in “The Yellow Wallpaper”” by Carol Margaret Davison
April 2nd, 2009 “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story written in the late 1800’s about a woman with post-partum depression who becomes increasingly mad because of society’s, as well as her husband’s, repression. The critical essay “Haunted House/Haunted Heroine: Female Gothic Closets in “The Yellow Wallpaper”” by Carol Margaret Davison is an analysis of the short story, focusing on the genre of female gothic and the themes of loss of identity, self discovery, the dark side of marriage, and…show more content… The author states that female gothic will often have a theme of self discovery, as well as a loss of identity. The genre focuses on emotional growth of the protagonist, who is usually entering womanhood. It also focuses on women’s repression. Davison explains “The Yellow Wallpaper” is slightly different than most works in the genre of female gothic, as instead of an honourable and polite female protagonist, the narrator is on the verge of madness. In the story, the narrator is a young woman who has recently been married and had a child. This shows she is entering womanhood, which is an aspect the author mentions of female gothic. Another aspect I observed is the narrator’s transformation from a passive girl who feels overpowered by her husband to an aggressive woman who escapes her husband’s grip by leaving her own conscious mind. I believe she is attempting to take control by fleeing her own mind. After reading the author’s summarization of female gothic, I agree that “The Yellow Wallpaper” should be categorized in that genre, as it follows the general guidelines and basis of female gothic.
As Davison explains, the theme of loss of identity or process of self-discovery is brought up many times in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. One notable point the author mentions is that, even though the narrator follows her husband’s advice by not dwelling on her illness by thinking about the house instead, her feelings about marriage are projected onto the