"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, published in 1892 portrays a story that involves a woman suffering from depression during the 19th century who is captivated by her husband. Her husband is a physician and who treats her, but she laments that her husband and her brothers do not believe that she is sick. The first impression I had on the story was that the book is somewhat hard to follow, however, as I read it, I began to discover many more things behind the book, and I think it is a good book, but it is overlooked. Where John takes the narrator for treatment, was it a house or mental hospital? Is the first question that appears in my mind after reading the story? Moreover, why does the narrator forget to tear the wallpaper? While she talks of the kids messing the house but it was she who did it.
Unfamiliar Words or Allusions
The narrator used the phase creeping women in the final scene before john breaking into her room, and the narrator had finished tearing the wallpaper. Creep refers to the way the woman in the story moved about to establish their identity by bringing women issues to the limelight and trying to find their true self-definition. The narrator had completed tearing off the wallpaper, and she saw a free woman who become one. It shows the narrator had made a full connection of the moment she had been avoiding all along; however, the reader already had made contact. The woman on the image was an accurate reflection of herself. The narrator refers to the house as a prison depicted that there is no freedom. The narrator shows the structure of the house describing iron bars on the windows that represent a symbolic prison. Moreover, she was forced to rest for long hours against her wish.
"Life is very much more exciting now than it used to be." Follows a scene where the narrator finds Jennie touching the wallpaper and states that nobody apart from her is supposed to see the pattern (Gilman, 1892). It shows a unique quality of the story because the narrator has become insane, which makes her think about it day and night and her life became more interesting. Gilman combines a sarcastic sense of human and terror in such moments.
Insanity plays a vital role in Charlotte Gilman's short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is similar to "the tell-tale heart" by Edgar Poe's in that the stories resemble. Both stories show events in daily life. In Edgar's story, the narrator shares a story detailing how he murdered a senior man using an evil eye is a well-planned style. He endeavors to persuade the audience of his sanity by recapping various events. Her husband who also treats her has restrained the narrator in Gilman's story to a house. He restricted her from working and any other activity that would insert a certain level of strain in her minor hysterical tendency. Both stories provide explanations of obsession and mental state decline.
The yellow wallpaper depicts how the narrator deals with a psychological breakdown that portrays it as a unique story of daily life showing great poles between both genders. Generally, women can identify with the story; the male through the story makes a decision and tend to be in charge of everything compared to the female characters. The narrator goes insane towards the end of the story when she is tired of John's control which is not willing to listen to anything the narrator says. The narrator needed to be treated as a human so that she could be able to read, write, and work and instead, she was instructed and confined not to do anything that made her insane.
Gilman, C. P. (1892). "The Yellow Wall-paper. A Story". The New England Magazine. 11 (5,).
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