The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis Paper

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, Silas Weir Mitchell Pages: 3 (1237 words) Published: April 20, 2010
Individuality and the importance of upholding women’s rights, such as viewing a woman as a respectable, free-willed human being, are the essential truths established in Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Through the development of the narrator Gilman uses symbolism and imagery to awaken the reader to the reality of what a woman’s life was like in the 1800’s. Analysis of the symbolism throughout the story reveals that the author was not only testifying to the social status of the women in society but specifically giving insight into her personal life, and what she was subjected to. What appeared to be a mere, contrite story to many readers, was actually a successful strike at the wrong mindset that society possessed at that time. The narrator was a woman who experienced these difficulties. Living in a house with her husband, John, she was confined to a spacious, sunlit room that contained hideous yellow wallpaper that she despised. Against her better judgment she was not permitted to write, draw, or work, but simply rest. Soon the wallpaper she detested became her only stimulus. She examined it by day and night, and began to see patterns develop and figures form. The vague figures took the shape of a woman trapped behind bars, constantly searching for a way out. The narrator sympathized with the enslaved woman, and began to contemplate ways to save her. The narrator becomes paranoid around her husband and the babysitter who she thinks are also trying to unmask the wallpapers true meaning. Finally the narrator becomes frantic and is reduced to a state of disillusion. The author draws the story to an end, with the narrator tearing down the wallpaper and exclaiming that she finally released the woman behind it. The wallpaper itself was not the cause of the narrator’s madness. Her husband thought that she was suffering from a nervous depression and concluded that it was in her best interest to be prescribed the rest cure, confined to a room and...
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