Tearing Away The Metaphors: Yellow Wallpaper

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Stephanie Bahniuk Feb. 16/2011 Tearing Away The Metaphors: An Analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story of depression and madness intricately weaves subtle symbols and hidden details throughout a women’s personal story of frustration within herself and from external forces. Through the main character’s fascination with peculiar yellow wallpaper, her husband’s childish affection and forceful care, and the effects of the house and environment around her, an overwhelming sense of oppression and insanity is portrayed. The presentation of each of these elements allows the reader to interpret the text personally and connect to the struggle. The Yellow Wallpaper makes a prominent statement towards a women’s rights and personal freedoms as well as showing the progression of delirium through various harsh influences. 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. She also describes it as “dull enough to confuse the eye in the following, pronounced enough constantly to irritate and provoke study” (988) which further mirrors her attitude towards her depression in its early stages. As the days go by and she
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