The Yellow Wallpaper

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Amanda Brown
The Yellow Wallpaper
Word count: 554
Is isolation the cure? In the short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator and her physician husband rent out a mansion for the summer to cure her “slight hysterical tendency” but, does the isolation from the outside world cure her or define her. Throughout this story Charlotte uses several literary devices such as irony, symbolism and tone to document the narrators spiraling decent into madness. To emphasize her story, Charlotte uses irony to unexpectedly twist and contrast what happens and what is interpreted. "But these nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing." Finally, John's treatment of his wife, the narrator, has the opposite effect, driving her further into insanity. The narrator's insanity is evident when she misinterprets the intended use of the room with yellow wallpaper, an example of irony. We know that this room is intended to house an insane person, for "the windows are barred" and "there are rings and things in the walls. Another example of irony is the contrast of the narrator's own statements. She states, "I am glad my case is not serious!" "But these nervous troubles are dreadfully depressing" and "John does not know how much I really suffer." Then again she agrees with her first statement that her "case is not serious" by saying "Of course it is only nervousness" creating another example of irony. Charlotte also used symbolism: Any image, object, character, or action that stands for an ideas or ideas beyond its own literal meaning, such as the Yellow Wallpaper. The yellow wallpaper, of which the narrator declares, "I never saw a worse paper in my life," is a symbol of the limited rights that men enforce upon women. Charlotte writes, "The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing" this is a symbolic metaphor for restrictions placed on women. The author is saying that the denial of equality for...