Zoey Crain Comp 1302 Prof. Dodge February 9, 2012 The Yellow Wallpaper The psychological thriller, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story about a woman with postpartum depression. The narrator’s husband and brother concluded it was a nervous depression. Her husband and she move out to a rather suspicious house, so she can better herself. She isn’t aloud to do any kind of work and is given strict instructions to get air and relax her self.
She untangles its chaotic pattern and locates the figure of a woman struggling to break free from the bars in the pattern. Over time, as her insanity deepens, she identifies completely with this woman and believes that she, too, is trapped within the wallpaper. When she tears down the wallpaper over her last couple of nights, she believes that she has finally broken out of the wallpaper within which John has imprisoned her. The wallpaper's yellow color has many possible associations - with jaundiced sickness, with discriminated-against minorities of the time (especially the Chinese), and with the rigid oppression of masculine sunlight. By tearing it down, the narrator emerges from the wallpaper and asserts her own identity, albeit a somewhat confused, insane one.
The narrator’s obsession with the wallpaper that surrounds her bedroom begins merely as intrigue and climaxes to a point where reality and what she imagines within the wallpaper becomes blurred. This climax represents her journey from rationality to insanity as the wallpaper becomes more twisted and alive around her. This wallpaper ultimately represents the oppression of her mind that is being caused by her post partum depression, as well as her husband’s ineffective healing methods. At first she finds the wallpaper being “one of those sprawling, flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” (Gilman 988). This could be a representation of the beginning of her depression which was initially just an annoyance to her which she does not fully understand.
Gilman uses symbols to explain the how women are trapped in domestic life. The symbol that Gilman uses the yellow wallpaper in the room she is confined in. At first, the wallpaper is just awful as she says “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow.” She is disgusted by it and understands why children, who have been in this room, would want to tear it down. Then, the wallpaper becomes a point of curiosity as she wants to discover the organization of the pattern. She said, “...and I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless pattern to some sort of a conclusion,” as if the wallpaper was made with symmetry in mind.
The room she stays in has yellow wallpaper that will later contribute to her psychological downfall along with the oppression felt from her environment. In both pieces of literature, the authors use a technique of gradually progressing the characters deterioration of their mental capacity. Through dramatic irony and other literary devices, the reader is permitted to see the depth of the characters illness. The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, stays in a bedroom that was an old nursery which has an unattractive yellow wallpaper on the walls. To the narrator, the wallpaper is a nuisance and the pattern makes no sense to her.
The words “thin” and “tight” to describe her smile illustrated that Lysandra actually felt constricted and angry inside, despite pretending to be happy by putting on a smile. In the quote, Elaine describes this experience as Lysandra’s “withdrawal”, which tells us that she became emotionally unavailable and cold to the outside world. It says us how she retreated into her own private thoughts of anger and embarrassment, instead of sharing it with her friend. This shows adversity Lysandra faced during childhood made her to become more susceptible to life’s challenges, as she was not taught to address her emotions in a healthy and positive manner. After losing the poetry contest, Lysandra became withdrawn and cold, as she believed that Elaine had taken her prize from her.
Jamie Christopher Dorothy Byrom English 1101-27 September 19, 2012 The Bars on the Window In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, readers discover a unique symbol. The symbol discovered is the window and, more so the bars placed on it. The plot of the “Yellow Wallpaper” includes a young woman who, trapped in a house is unable to do anything but rest. As she rests she writes even though she is not supposed to and readers see her decline into what seems to be insanity. The window’s bars show the narrator trapped in her situation when bars are usually on windows to keep people out, not in.
The Demon Lover is a tale of one woman's introspective journey to face repressed memories of her past. The story takes place in the context of World War I and II. It is about an inward pilgrimage of Kathleen Drover who returns to her old house to pick up some things which she has left long before. Although it is not clear whether or not Kathleen Drover's return to her house is a physical journey, it is with certitude, a psychological one. She has been feeling guilty for the last twenty five years of her life.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is driven by the narrator’s sense that the wallpaper is a text she must interpret, that it symbolizes something that affects her directly. Accordingly, the wallpaper develops its symbolism throughout the story. At first it seems merely unpleasant: it is ripped, soiled, and an “unclean yellow.” The worst part is the ostensibly formless pattern, which fascinates the narrator as she attempts to figure out how it is organized. After staring at the paper for hours, she sees a ghostly sub-pattern behind the main pattern, visible only in certain light. Eventually, the sub-pattern comes into focus as a desperate woman, constantly crawling and stooping, looking for an escape from behind the main pattern, which has come to resemble the bars of a cage.
These narrations are looking for a faithful way to uncertainty in these stories. Charlotte Perkins Gilman story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is narrated by a woman who is mentally unstable. The story evolves as the narrator slips into madness. Her husband a physician is concerned about his wives insanity and well-being he forbids her from using her imagination and writing. This only worsens her condition causing her to become obsessed with the yellow wallpaper in her room.