Her husband is gone from the house more often, to take care of the patients with serious conditions, leaving her with Jennie, his sister. She feels alone and her imagination makes up these apparitions in the wallpaper to keep her amused. She starts seeing a woman creeping in the wallpaper. The woman scares her and she wants to move into a different room to escape her phantom presence. Her imagining this woman is representing the narrator subconsciously realizing that she might me going crazy and that fact scares her and she wants to escape the empty room that leaves her to her
In the two short stories, both women feel repressed in their role unwillingly to escape their room leaving them to have a distorted reality created by their mind. Under societal conditions, both women embody a struggle for freedom while spiraling into id tendencies and primal thought. In the Yellow Wallpaper, the woman has very little control over her life due to her nervous condition. She has become trapped by her husband because of not only societal obligations but the treatment back in the day. The treatment consisted of no interactions with anything or anyone but rest and silence.
As the story unfolds, the unnamed wife becomes increasingly distant from the love of her husband and son. She required alcohol to help her sleep, indicating depression or some other psychological illness. When the boy would play with her, she would lock herself in a room away from her. She even went so far as to hit the boy when the husband was there to witness. He saw her mental health deteriorating, and knew she felt trapped within the family.
Soon she realized she couldn’t share any of these stories with her husband though, because he told her “not to give way to fancy…” since she had quite a habit of story-making and a “nervous weakness” like hers may lead to other “fancies.” (Gilman 293) That can be viewed as an attempt to stifle her creativeness. It’s almost as if he wants to make her believe she really is crazy. In his mind, all she is doing is imagining things. It also seems as if he wants to completely control her. So far, he does.
The ugliness of the yellow wallpaper can be compared to the ugliness of her life at the time of the story, the way her husband doubts her illness and her not being able to break free from his grip. The nursery symbolizes how women were seen on the same level as children. A woman’s role during this time was one of confinement and the barred windows are symbols of this. The narrator tearing down the yellow wallpaper to find the woman represents her attempt to regain her sanity. The wallpaper is her confinement and by tearing it down she frees herself.
Another reason that Ellen feels isolated is of lack of communication with others this causes her to break down and eventually run away with the baby to try to get away from the storm "I'm so caged- if I could only break away and run". The character Ellen in the story "The Lamp at Noon" shows that she has feelings of sadness and feelings of isolation throughout the story and these feelings she cannot
ENG110 As it would appear The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a narrative describing the trials a woman faces when battling PPD (postpartum depression). However, under further investigation it is clear that the meaning Gilman imposes on her audience is the concept of entrapment to amplify the absurdity of male dominance in the 17th C. Opposing characteristics of the female main character and her husband, in conjunction with imagery and the metaphor of “the woman in the wallpaper” collaboratively work to express the standards expected of a woman and the feeling of isolation evoked by powerlessness. The central character of The Yellow Wallpaper is our narrator who serves as both mother and wife. Her role in the story is contrasted by the leading male character her husband, John, a physician. However their union seems less like a marriage and more like the relationship one would see between parent and child.
The narrator describes the wallpaper as such, “The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing” (351). The yellow wallpaper itself signifies women being suppressed by the men in their lives and the inability to break their dominance. She also eventually sees a figure behind the wallpaper in the form of a creeping woman. The woman actually portrays the narrator herself. After staring at the wallpaper long enough, she finds that the pattern moves because of the woman behind it trying to get out.
The social norms during this period were for the women to do as their told, to be seen and not heard from. In “The yellow wall paper” this reader’s perspective is she is very depressed and looking for a way out of her locked room. Miss Brill is also very depressed to the point where she doesn’t know how to associate with people evidence is in the way she is very nosey, lonely, and bored. In “The yellow wall paper” it almost seems as if she has become part of the imaginary characters in the wall paper dying to get out a feeling of not being lonely within. For her becoming part of the wall paper is her way of avoiding the feelings of abandonment.
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).