“The Yellow Wallpaper” Essay
In the creepy short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses the first person narration of a madwoman to demonstrate how the solitary confinement inflicted on the narrator by her husband drove her into insanity, illustrating that oppression can lead to tragic consequences. The narrator is diagnosed with Hysteria by her husband and brother, and she is committed to bed rest is a room covered in yellow wallpaper. The narrator describes it as “revolting” and it has a “sickly sulphur tint”. She repeatedly tells her husband how much she dislikes the wallpaper but he dismisses her nervousness. He refuses to repaper the room claiming that “nothing was worse for a nervous patient than give way to such fancies”. John disregards his wife’s feelings because he is the husband and he knows best. He doesn’t allow his wife any say in the way her condition is handled, subjecting her to the isolation of a bed rest cure. The rest cure forced upon the narrator combined with her obsession with the atrocious yellow wallpaper causes her mental stability to deteriorate. She finds her escape in the hideous yellow wallpaper that surrounds her in their room. The narrators over active imagination takes ahold when she looks at the wallpaper she sees faces in it. The resting cure and the repression of her ability to express her thoughts results in her seeing a woman in the paper trapped behind the bars. Throughout the short story the narrator falls deeper and deeper into madness and her husband remains completely ignorant to it. His myopic dependence in his medical expertise clouds his judgment leaving him completely unprepared for his wife’s mental breakdown in the end of the story. The narrator sees a woman trapped behind the yellow wallpaper trying to escape. She sees “a woman stooping down and creeping about behind the pattern” moving the front of the pattern, shaking the bars trying to escape. The creeping woman that is...
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