Spiral Into Insanity of Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"

645 Words3 Pages
In The Yellow Wallpaper, a short story by Charlotte Gilman, the symbol of the yellow wallpaper itself portrays a role into the main characters spiral into madness. To the main character, Jane, the wallpaper is at first a nuisance, then an obsession, and finally salvation. Jane becomes overwhelmed from the confided space with the wallpaper and begins to spiral into a deeper depression than what she started with and eventually loses her mind. The material of the paper itself represents Jane's everyday life, the illogical pattern that comes about in it, reflects the absence of logic in her mind and the very colour of the paper depicts the illness that yellows her sight and imprisons her within an unpredictable life, these things all playing a role in Jane's insanity. The wallpaper is at first a great annoyance to Jane as she claims that it is confusing and contradicting. Jane was a writer and was not permitted to express herself through the means of writing. She is not only affected by the physical restraints of being inside the room alone, but the yellow wallpaper is dreadful and fosters only negative creativity. Jane's negative thoughts are first displayed through "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." This is displaying the beginning of her negative thoughts which is the contribution to her spiralling into insanity since her disease confuses her mind and contradicts her logic, the paper parallels her mental state at this point. The isolation of Jane causes her to attempt to fulfill her social desire by desperately attempting to unravel the mystery that she imagines in the wallpaper. From this attempt she becomes
Open Document