The narrator’s obsession with the wallpaper that surrounds her bedroom begins merely as intrigue and climaxes to a point where reality and what she imagines within the wallpaper becomes blurred. This climax represents her journey from rationality to insanity as the wallpaper becomes more twisted and alive around her. This wallpaper ultimately represents the oppression of her mind that is being caused by her post partum depression, as well as her husband’s ineffective healing methods. At first she finds the wallpaper being “one of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (Gilman 988). This could be a representation of the beginning of her depression which was initially just an annoyance to her which she does not fully understand.
And if that’s sinful, then let me be damned for it!”(Scene Nine).She seems enraged that her reality is unraveled, that everyone now sees her fantasy for what it is, fantasy. Her lies about her purity, her age, her background, everything is now out in the open to be judged and scrutinized by the public. Blanche DuBois is a tragic figure. She is out of place both geographically and temporally (Scene One). She appears to be trying to remain a ‘young women’ when in fact she is getting old, this results in an unappealing persona.
“I never saw a worse paper in my life.” As the narrative develops, her later feelings start to contradict her initial emotions and her behaviour becomes more irrational. “...It is like the colour of the paper! A yellow smell.” The suggestion of the wallpaper having a smell indicates a lingering odour which is perhaps metaphoric of the woman having the wallpaper consistently on her mind. She has become so entirely absorbed by the wallpaper that she is now letting it dictate her senses. As the story develops the woman’s descent into madness can start to be seen more clearly as she reveals her obsessive and protective nature over the wallpaper.
The wallpaper however begins to take a toll on the woman’s life. Throughout the short story the woman mentions how she cannot stand the yellow wallpaper. The husband ignores the obsession his wife begins to have with the wallpaper and believes she is just getting worse. The yellow wallpaper constantly sickens the woman just by looking at it, but John refuses to change it. The wallpaper begins to take over the woman’s mind.
Cisneros said, “Instead of writing by inspiration, it seems we write by obsessions, of that which is most violently tugging at our psyche… there is the necessary phase of dealing with those ghosts and voices most urgently haunting us, day by day” ( 49). This lack of a sense of belonging, results in separation and isolation, which impacts her world and weaves its way into themes of her writing. Cisneros separates herself from the normality of society in three main ways, the first of which is her poverty. As a poor person growing up in a society where the class norm was superimposed on a T.V. screen: I couldn’t understand why our home wasn’t all green and white wood like the ones in ‘Leave it To Beaver’ or ‘Father Knows Best.’ Poverty then became the Ghost and in an attempt to escape the ghost, I rejected what was at hand and emulated the voices of the poets I admired in books: big male voices like James Wright and Richard Hugo and Theodore Roethke, all
An unreliable narrator is one whose narration is not credible and their audience may not always believe what the narrator is telling them. The point of view Charlotte Gilman’s first person narrative, The Yellow Wallpaper, allows the audience to see the struggle of sanity versus insanity within the narrator. Gilman leaves the reader questioning the narrator’s reliability, due to the narrators declining mental stability. The narrator’s skewed perception of her mental health unfortunately means the serene environment will not provide the rest needed to recover from her depression. Such isolated atmosphere and forced solitary confinement eventually envelops the narrator in her insanity.
Furthermore, orphans were also often treated with disdain and distrust, due to their reputation as “criminally prone” individuals, and were frequent targets of classic “Victorian contradictions”, that characterized the social conventions of Victorian society. Bessie repeatedly refers to Jane as ‘poor orphan child’ in her hymn early on at Gateshead. The development of Jane’s character is central to the novel. She learns to control her passions, as her integrity is put to the test when she faces so much injustice: ‘why was I always suffering, always browbeaten, always accused, forever condemned?’. The bildungs roman of the protagonist, contrasts the attitudes of the mature Jane to her younger self initially shouting: ‘unjust, unjust’, nonetheless coming of age made her reactions and opinions more subtle, ‘what consternation of a soul was mine that dreary afternoon’.
She is not only bow legged, but also a mute—the main reason behind her mistreatment. Although these handicaps are not significant concerns today, during the time frame of “Recitatif” these are seen as defects that do not mesh well with society. As Roberta tells Twyla, “And because she could [not] talk—well you know, I thought she was crazy” (214). The protagonist of Atwood’s “Lusus Naturae”, unsurprisingly, is the individual that is signaled out as the scapegoat. She has a genetic disorder that warps her outer features; yellow eyes, pink teeth, red finger nails, and dark hair that protrudes from her chest and arms (233).
As previously mentioned she uses the words ill formed and feeble to describe her unfinished writing’s fragility. In line 10, she continues by saying, “thy visage was so irksome in my sight,” to explain the shame and discomfort that she carries with her due to the fact that her “baby” was exposed to the public still so unpolished. She applies the words blemishes, flaw, and hobbling into her diction in order to express her piece as something that is not well put together, and no matter how much she attempts to polish it, she feels as if she has failed at improving it. Lastly, Bradstreet’s characterization of her work comes to life through the evident controlling metaphor of the poem, which is claiming that her writing is her “offspring”. Throughout the entire poem, the controlling metaphor becomes this idea that her writing is her child,
Throughout Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Jane, the main character, is an example of how a patriarchal world affects women, and how the effects are unhealthy. From the beginning of the story, it is evident that Jane is sick, both from her depression and her imprisonment in the mansion. Jane’s mental state is illustrated through the descriptions of the yellow wallpaper. As her conditions grow worse, so does the intensity of the descriptions. John, Jane’s husband and doctor, enforces the patriarchal idea on his suffering wife, and unknowingly causes to her go mad.