The Yellow Wallpaper

857 Words4 Pages
13 November 2012 Expression of Feminist Elements in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Throughout many pieces of fictional literature, authors may try to emphasize certain points or beliefs that can be exposed by the reader through literary analysis. Gilman does an exceptional job making determined statements about feminism and individuality using her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Gilman was able to do this by guiding the reader through the terrors of a woman’s neurosis. Neurosis can be defined as a relatively mild mental illness that is not brought on by organic disease but it involves stresses a woman may have such as depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, and hypochondria. The woman is not completely normal but does not suffer any radical loss of her grip on reality. The woman’s mental state in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” can be characterized by her encounters with the wallpaper in her room. The woman in the story seems to have obsessive interactions with the yellow wallpaper in her room. The majority of the story is centered upon the eerie descriptions of the wallpaper and her obsession with it. One important thing to understand is that, although the woman’s neurosis is primarily what the plot is based upon, the objective of the story is to deliver a completely unrelated message to the reader. Gilman does an excellent job evoking a message of individual expression and successfully does so by recording the progression of the illness, through the state of the wallpaper. As one begins to read the story it is immediately apparent that the woman allows herself to be inferior to men. One man in particular, her husband, John. Being a physician, he has special orders for her. He orders her to stay in bed, suppress her imagination, and most importantly, to discontinue her writing. She does not say a word, even knowing
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