Point Of View In "They Yellow Wallpaper"

959 Words4 Pages
Bonnie Beard Ashley Leonard EN2203 16 February 2011 Point of View in “The Yellow Wallpaper” When one first begins reading “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman they probably won’t think anything out of the ordinary will occur in the story. A wife and husband renting a nice “colonial mansion” for the summer, what could go wrong? However, we soon find out that the narrator is sick and her husband, who just so happens to be a doctor, does not believe she is sick. Questions begin to surface immediately. What kind of doctor doesn’t know illness when he sees it? What kind of husband does not believe his own wife? Is she really sick? If so, what illness burdens her? Puzzle pieces begin to fit together, or so it seems, when the narrator states “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…” (425). For a moment our minds are eased, grateful that there is not something more serious wrong with the main character of our story. However, it becomes increasingly apparent throughout the story that the narrator is more mentally unstable than her husband and perhaps even herself, believe. Being mentally unstable causes the narrator to be unreliable and have an inaccurate point of view. Due to the fact that the narrator’s point of view is first person, some of her remarks draw more attention than others. She soon begins babbling incessantly about the wallpaper in her bedroom, “I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic 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 and uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit

More about Point Of View In "They Yellow Wallpaper"

Open Document