Voice In Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper Essay

364 WordsFeb 16, 20122 Pages
The Significance of Voice in Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator’s dynamic voice exemplifies the her struggle with insanity as she becomes infatuated with the wallpaper in the attic room where she holds herself prisoner. With instruction of her physician and approval from her husband, the narrator is to only rest while staying in the summerhouse recovering from “temporary nervous depression” (Gilman 2). As the story plays out, the narrator begins to lose touch with reality and we witness her collapse from beginning to end through her own storytelling. From the start, the narrator confesses to not liking the attic room where she is staying at all and immediately explains that the “windows are barred”, “there are rings and things in the walls”, and that the wallpaper is “stripped off in great patches all around the head of my bead” (Gilman 4). At this point, the narrator appears normal and healthy, as anyone would be aware and curious of his or her surroundings in a new environment. However, directly after describing her immediate surroundings, the narrator goes off in a tangent illustrating the yellow wallpaper and discloses that “I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long.” It should be asked why the narrator doesn’t request for the wallpaper to be changed, but she continues to stay in the room anyway. Next, we find out that she does ask to have the room repapered but her husband argues ‘“I don’t care to renovate the house just for a three months’ rental”’ (Gilman 5). Even the narrator bargains to move downstairs to another room, but she is denied again. Accepting the fact that she has to deal with the attic room, she begins to explore more closes the yellow wallpaper and discovers “a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that

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