Unwrapping the Truth
A tranquil sanctuary of a home set back from the beaten path and far from the stresses of everyday city life would be the perfect place for a summer vacation, or so one might be convinced. She considered herself lucky, the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, to have reserved such a grand homestead for their retreat. Soon she would discover that this was not the peaceful escape from reality that she required. Diagnosed with a nervous disorder by her husband, a physician, this house was not to be used as a vacation home, but as an asylum wherein he would keep her for treatment. Confined within the lacking gardens and hedges of her temporary lodgings, the narrator, Jane, was forced to bide her time. “You know the place is doing you good,” John argued to his wife about the house (Gilman 599). It had only been two weeks, but she was curious as to why her husband’s promises to recondition the home had not yet begun. He had set her up in a large bare room he referred to as the “nursery” (Gilman 598). It was a sickly yellow color located high up in the house where she would be able to get plenty of the air that was said to be so good for her condition. As a physician, John felt he could use the confines of the house, specifically the room, to monitor his wife’s progress. The wallpaper that she madly detested was, in his opinion, “getting the better of [her]” so he left it up along with the bars on the windows and a gated staircase, because in order for her to get better she shouldn’t “give way to such fancies” (Gilman 599). Being a compliant patient, she endured the wallpaper as it was, torn and moldy and eventually strangely enticing. As Jane would sit on the bulky bed in her room staring at the patterns on the wall, she neglected to allow herself to comprehend the marks left by the previous tenants. John had warned her that her “imaginative power and habit of story-making” might get the best of her and she needed to try her best not to let it...
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