By Charlotte Perkins Gilman
In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a mother with post partum depression is stuck in between four walls and can only vent through pen and paper. Her writing styles throughout her diary entries become more and more dramatic and vivid, and everything that the narrator does means something.
Catherine Golden, author of “The Writing of 'The Yellow Wallpaper: A Double Palimpsest” writes about how the narrator, possibly Jane, refers to her husband as “he” more than “John” (Golden, 6). Her language in the writing comes from the male dominant role in her life. Since John is a physician he controls the narrator’s bed rest and abilities to do things. The narrator is forced to write in a way where she is oppressed naturally (Golden, 4). Golden also points out how the author refers to John multiple times but refers to herself as “I” or “myself” or “me” rather than by her own name. The narrator uses “me” more than “I,” though, “intensifying her awkward positioning in her sentence and society” (Golden, 7). When the narrator refers to herself as “one” in the first entry she is conveying her helplessness and her “inability to change her uncomfortable situation” (Golden, 8).
“More than the tone of writing or pronoun usage, the placement of pronouns in this closing paragraph reveals the narrator's growing sense of awareness of her former submissive state and a reversal of the power dynamics of gender” (Golden, 16). The author begins to associate herself with the woman in the wallpaper. At first the woman was just a figment of her imagination, but as she became more and more trapped in the room, the woman in the wallpaper revealed herself more and more. By the end of the entries the narrator becomes more vivid and descriptive of her surroundings (Golden, 18).
With the narrator’s writing style in her first entries compared to her later entries she is driven insane. At first she associates herself as...