The Yellow Wallpaper

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Analytical paper # 2 Due: October 24, 2012 “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is the story of a young woman whose creative appeal and self-expression are suppressed by her society and her marriage. The short story is told by the narrator through her diary, which she describes as an exemption of her thoughts. The narrator is apparently artistic and creative as can be seen through her animated descriptions of the house her husband John has rented. The narrator includes representations of the yellow wallpaper in the upstairs nursery where she and her husband sleep at night. The wallpaper is used characterically to reflect the marriage the narrator finds herself ambushed inside. At the start of the short story, the wallpaper is merely seen as an aberrant bore, but as the narrative progresses, the wallpaper becomes much more baleful and frightening. As a site of symbolism, the symbol has three functions in Charlotte Perkins Gilman s ’, “The Yellow Wallpaper”: it reveals the wallpaper including the imagery, imprisonment and symbolism. The imagery of the wallpaper in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” transitions as the short story is developed in order to emulate the increasing realization of the monopoly the narrator’s marriage has upon herself. The very first descriptions illustrate her initial animus by describing it as “one of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (Perkins 41-42). This is significant for it reflects the narrator’s own presence—she is committing an artistic sin during her marriage by having her engaging imagination and her need to compose. Her husband, John, dislikes this, and as a result, the narrator deliberately feels stifled and has to obscure her writing so that her husband will not know. The narrator is characterized as having a nervous state and is overly protected by her
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