The Yellow Wall Paper

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, Irony Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Response Essay: “The Yellow Wall-paper”
The Yellow Wall-paper is a fictional short story written by Charlotte Gilman and I feel like it exaggerates the post-partum depression she has, at the time the post-partum was not recognized as it is now. She is also living in a time period where the husband is more superior to the wife and some details of her story show that. John and his wife, the narrator, move into an estate for the summer along with their new baby and John’s sister. John, a doctor, orders his wife to get plenty of rest in order to cure her “temporary nervous depression” (83). In their new home she is basically imprisoned in a room that has yellow wall-paper which ultimately drives her insane. More than anything else the narrator describes the yellow wall-paper and her interaction with it. This story is full of irony, symbolism, and madness. Dramatic irony in the story takes place when the woman thinks the room was used as a nursery when it has bars on the windows and the bed is bolted to the floor, clearly it was not a nursery. Verbal irony is also used when the narrator contradicts herself by saying she is glad her case is not that serious but then says that the nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing. After that she states how John does not know how much she really suffers but it is like she is arguing with herself about it because she thinks it is only nervousness as if it is really no big deal. John thinks that the room is doing her good when really she is seeing a woman in the wall-paper. So situational irony is the point of the story, John tries to cure his wife by ordering her to rest and trapping her in the room and it actually makes her worse and drives her insane, literally. The yellow wall-paper is the main symbol of the story and has a couple of different meanings but overall I think it symbolizes her condition. The wall-paper makes her so curious and it consumes all of her energy mainly because there is nothing else she can do because...
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