The Yellow Wallpaper Literary Analysis

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman has three themes: becoming free, madness, and the dangers of the “rest cure.” The story is written as the secret diary of a woman who is diagnosed with temporary nervous depression by her husband and doctor and is prescribed the “rest cure.” Though the narrator wants to write, she is prohibited from any activity due to her treatment. Thus, allowing her to create a figure in the yellow wallpaper while in the confinement of her room. Gilman writes in "The Yellow Wallpaper" of the narrator who is apparently trying to free herself from her sickness and the room, and she is trying to free the woman in the wallpaper. Throughout the story, the narrator, also known as the protagonist of the story, is trying to free herself from her illness. Readers can see this when Gilman writes, "I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press…show more content…
At the beginning of the story, the narrator seems fine, just a little emotional. For example, Gilman writes, "I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I'm sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition" (747). Then the narrator becomes worse. She starts seeing a woman in the walls. Later, the narrator tears the wallpaper to get the woman out, which is when the narrator's illness is the worst. Gilman writes, "I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did?" (755). This is when the readers find out that the woman in the wall was the narrator. These examples show that since the narrator was not able to stimulate her brain by talking to people, working, or doing everyday chores her mind focused on the wallpaper. It created an image of a woman in the wall, which ended up causing tremendous damage to the narrator. That is why the dangers of the "rest cure" is a theme of "The Yellow
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