Yellow Wallpaper

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Sidney Kauvaka
Eng 110
2/20/13
The Yellow Wallpaper
Reading short stories can require more attention to detail to try and be able to interpret what the author is trying to write about. Authors in turn use various plot devices to get their point across. In the “Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, she effectively uses the setting of the story to put it in a more effective context of the theme of feminism. Also as the story progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that the narrator is unreliable due to her gradual descent into insanity. Perkins does a great job of detailing the eeriness of the yellow wallpaper and what it has come to represent for the narrator. The first-person view of the narrator gives the reader glimpses of what her life had been like and sort of foreshadows the conclusion of the story. Perkins uses setting to reflect the narrator’s psychology by putting the story’s context and theme of feminism into place. Throughout the story, the narrator’s negligence of her mental condition and treatment by her husband factors into her gradual descent into insanity. Her husband, John, being a physician should’ve recognized the symptoms of her illness, but insisted it wasn’t of importance. This was seen throughout the story where the narrator tried to tell him of her illness but was constantly brushed off insisting that he ultimately knew what was best or her. He even treats her like a child in some instances, like when he tells her “There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy” (232). The woman the narrator sees in the wall trying to escape can be identified as her subconscious showing her deepest desires of her trying to escape the restricted confines of her life as a simple housewife and her ties to her husband. John’s intention actually seem to quite honest as he doing his best to look out for her wellbeing having just recently give birth. Gillman portrays John as a caring...
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