The Yellow Wall-Paper Literary Analysis
Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses her short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” to show how women undergo oppression by gender roles. Gilman does so by taking the reader through the terrors of one woman’s changes in mental state. The narrator in this story becomes so oppressed by her husband that she actually goes insane. The act of oppression is very obvious within the story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and shows how it changes one’s life forever.
The story begins with the narrator’s use of dramatic irony which already tells the reader that something is suspicious about her. “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage” (508 Gilman). The narrator, which is unknown, states her husband, John, laughs at her but she expects it. In a good marriage, one does not expect their spouse to laugh at them. Even from the first paragraphs, it is obvious the narrator allows herself to be inferior to men. She minimizes herself several more times throughout the story. “So I take my phosphates or phosphites - whichever it is – and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to ‘work’ until I am well again” (508 Gilman). The narrator’s husband is a high standing physician and gives her drugs that will supposedly help her get well. The section “phosphates or phosphites” gets my attention. A first read of these lines might cause the reader to think she is just a normal woman being prescribed drugs. However, the narrator does not know exactly what type of drugs she is taking. John sees his wife as another patient and nothing else. You see, she takes them simply because her husband is a physician and says they will help her. John is clearly in control of her. Also, the narrator states she is forbidden to work until she is well. John is making sure she does not try to do any type of work at all. He has strict orders for her, one of them being to stay in bed. There are signs of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document