Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a piece named “The Yellow Wallpaper”, where the narrator of the story is vividly entangled in her imagination causing her artistic impulses to consume her emotions. She is a “closet psychotic” as she does not disclose this infatuation of the yellow wallpaper to anyone around her. Charlotte Perkins Gilman writes a complex story where the narrator is trapped in her secret obsession of unraveling what’s inside this “yellow wallpaper”, which then drives her imaginative creativity, into insanity. The narrator begins by informing the reader how she and her family have recently started to stay in a new house for a little while so she may receive complete rest. This respite was prescribed to her by her husband, a physician.
She is introduced as a temptress or “looker” but later reveals a deeper character in the novel. Curley’s wife is powerless due to her gender. In the book, women are portrayed as troublemakers and Curley’s wife is defiantly included in this portrayal. She is described as a “tart”, “bitch”, and a “tramp”. The workers speak of her, basically, as Curley’s problem that needs to stay at home away from the other workers.
She spends all night watching the woman crawl back and forth inside of the wall. She begins to grow suspicious of both Jennie and John, believing that they too are aware of the yellow wallpaper’s secrets. She also begins to see the woman in the garden; she knows it is the same woman “for she is always creeping”(Gilman1899). She becomes obsessed with unlocking the woman from inside of the yellow wallpaper. Jane grows jealous, as she believes Jennie is secretly trying to do the same.
A repressed women with a desire to be free and happy. The relation between when the woman in the wallpaper and the narrator when the woman is behind bars symbolizes the narrator and how she is trapped in this tiny room with a husband who controls her every word and actions. He undermines her in almost every way. For example the narrator says on page 590 “I am afraid, but i don't care- there is something strange about that house-I can feel it, I even said so to John one moonlight evening, but he said what i felt was a drought, and shut the window.” This shows how john undermines her fears as just a simple shiver from the window being open when she is trying to explain how she doesn't like the place because shes
At this point she starts seeing various things in the wallpaper, but she still dislikes it, however later on we can see how her madness progresses and becomes a serious issue. She starts talking about how the wallpaper smells. “It creeps all over the house… it gets into my hair…”(p.11) I find it hard to believe that a wallpaper can smell like this, and I would rather say that this smell is a smell created by her mind rather than reality. And when she says that it even got into her hair, the reason for that would be how she saw some funny marks on the wall, low down. “A streak that runs round the room…as if it had been rubbed over and over.”(p.11).
Towards the end of the story, the narrator begins to obsess over the yellow wallpaper that covers the walls of the nursery. She eventually begins to see what she describes as a female figure trapped behind the bar-like pattern and comes to believe that she and the figure are suffering from the oppression of being imprisoned. As her preoccupation of the wallpaper pattern progresses, she no longer has the desire to become who her family wishes her to be and instead thinks only of how she can go about releasing the woman from the wallpaper. She grows more obsessive and insane with the passing of each day. In the end of the story, the narrator has lost all sense of reality, and John discovers her crawling around on the floor of the nursery, following the pattern of the wallpaper.
Both being a reason towards the woman’s slow neurotic ride to insanity. The author gives the reader insight into the 19th century sociological attitudes, especially regarding gender relations through the conflict that exists between the protagonist and her husband. As her doctor, he advises her to keep
The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Perkins Gilman is a look into the mental decline, and enlightenment of an anonymous lady. The narrator of this story is an odd character, both losing touch with reality and at the same time gaining greater self-understanding. This paradox is important to understanding the suffering of our narrator. All throughout the story she faces objects, or people, or situations that seam normal at first but that turn out extremely strange. This shows us that the main problem the narrator is faced with is how oppressive her situation is on her personality.
The wallpaper like John is a confine in which neither woman can escape from. The many heads in the wallpaper are the activities that the narrator wants to do such as writing, seeing her Cousin Henry and Julia, and sleeping downstairs. “I don’t like to look out the window even- there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast”(434). The women creeping outside are women like the narrator who are oppressed and have to do things in secret just like the narrator secretly tried to
The lack of power that women have in Salem sets the stage for hysteria. The female characters long for a voice in the community, and attempt to gain one by using their court powers to blame those around them and lying to gain attention from the community. Due to the very little power women have in Salem, the women find the need to blame others in order to be heard. While Abigail is being accused of performing witchcraft, she tries to blame Tituba. Abigail states, “Sometimes I wake and find myself standing in the open doorway and not a sitch on my body!