The Yellow Wallpaper: Character Assessment of the Narrator

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Character Assessment of the Narrator from 'The Yellow Wallpaper'

The short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is written in the perspective of the narrator as her journal where she reveals her deepest most personal thoughts about herself and her life, yet she still remains a very mysterious character. Her name is never revealed, and the reason the author does not reveal her name is so the story of her struggle could represent the struggles of many other going through the same situation. It is clear from the beginning of the story that she is an unreliable narrator because it is mentioned that her husband who is a doctor has diagnosed her with temporary nervous depression with slight hysterical tendencies. She seems to be a very creative and sensitive person who is a writer, but she is forbidden from writing in her journal by her husband who thinks that too much mental stimulation will only make her condition worse.

Her husband does not believe that anything is really that matter with his wife much to her frustration and he treats her like a child. He has prescribed that she should stay isolated in their rented summer home in an upstairs bedroom to rest and recover without any outside stress because she is so fragile. She is not supposed to write in her journal and should have less than two hours of mental stimulation a day, but she breaks these rules. She secretly writes in her diary as an outlet for her creativity and her true feelings on her situation which she is forced to hide. She is forced to live as two separate people; the outside person who her husband wants her to be; well behaved and mild mannered who is in conflict with her true self who is frustrated and is forced to live only inside her mind and journal.

As the story progresses these two selves become more and more separated as she spends more time alone and starts to live internally and function outside of herself as an empty shell. Her husband believes she is getting better because on a...
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