Essay 1 Revison
Jan 30th, 2012
The Yellow Wallpaper: Socio-Political Allegory
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Parkins Gilman is a gothic horror tale filtered through numerous thoughts of the narrator’s fluctuating mind set. The story depicts a woman with an unhappy marriage whose life is filled with vast amount of loneliness, anxiety, sarcasm and depression and how she relieves herself from false notions of society in late 19th century. The narrator of this story is an upper middle class woman named Jane who is suffering from a nervous breakdown which gets worse as time passes. She was deprived of her escalation by her own husband who served as her marionette. The struggle between her and her husband John, who is also her doctor, serves as a major conflict of the story. John’s stubbornness and notion of his own superior perception leads him to misjudge and dominate his wife, in the name of “helping” her.
“If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do? . . .
So I take phosphates or phosphites—whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas . . .” (Gilman 221)
The above quote describes power and authority of John and way he dominates her life. Her personal disagreement and her opinion weights very little and this typically sets an example of how women were treated in 19th century. As other mental illness, hers also began with depression which further became more furious due to carelessness and stubbornness of her husband. She would have been alright if she had received all good love and care and all that she liked.
Her life was filled with dislikes...