The Yellow Wallpaper

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“There’s a fine line between genius and insanity.”
-Oscar Levant

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a short story based on a woman’s struggle with power, depression, and fear. In it, Gilman writes the short story using literary devices such as symbolism to demonstrate how the main character drives herself into complete dementia. At first, it seems as if the main character is completely normal, talking only about her husband and how happy she is that he has taken her on a summer vacation to a beautiful home that she adores. She suffers from a state of nervous depression and her husband becomes her primary caregiver. Her treatment requires that she do almost nothing active, and she is especially forbidden from working and writing. Reluctant to listen to her husband, she starts to write in a secret journal that she keeps in an attempt to relieve her mind. In the journal, the woman begins describing the house in particular detail, revealing disturbing things and thoughts in her mind. She begins to focus on a particular piece of leftover wallpaper at the end of one of the walls in the room she occupies. Describing it with confusion not understanding the reason of why someone would put such wallpaper in a room. The wallpaper, as she describes, is yellow with lines and shapes going in different directions. The author does an excellent job of making it seem that the woman has a problem, but does not point it out right away. By gradually opening the mind of the woman, the author allows the reader to slowly begin to understand that the woman is not completely sane. The author uses symbolism in the short story to symbolize the woman captured in the wallpaper; she is trapped, perhaps not literally, but mentally. The woman continues to depict every line and shape in the wallpaper and starts to realize that she can see a strange woman in the wallpaper. Throughout the short story, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses themes to relate the crazed woman to the...
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