The “Yellow Wallpaper” is a vivid, partly autobiographical tale of clinical depression and the struggle for selfhood, written by an early feminist, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This short story is focusing on the American Gothic Fiction Literary Movement. This story is about a woman who fights for her right to express what she feels, and fights for her right to do what she wants to do. The narrator in this short story is a woman whose husband loves her very much, but oppresses her to the point where she cannot take it anymore. It revolves around the main character, her oppressed life, and her search for freedom.
The first characteristic of American Gothic fiction seen in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is the dark, scary setting. The setting is which the story takes place is in the narrators room, where she is severally ill, and she is “locked up” in the room which served as her cage. The room in which the narrator is caged in is a nursery, “it is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways. The paint and paper look as if a boys’ school had used it.” The narrator describes the color of the walls as repellent, almost revolting, it is an unclear yellow with a dull orange. The condition that the narrator is in, the repulsiveness of the room, and the room haunting her, drives her into insanity.
The second characteristic of American Gothic fiction is the way Gilman uses the wallpaper to be frightening. She is also very aware that what she perceives in the wallpaper is frightening and provoking, and yet is no more or no less than the apparitions of apprehensions a child sees in a dark room. She even uses an example from her past in which she remembered a "strong" chair that could save her from any terror-laden inanimate objects that threatened her. She later then becomes fond of the room because of the wallpaper, and not for a switch in perception, she does not think the wallpaper lovely all the sudden. Instead she becomes fond of its vociferous...
Cited: Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” An Introduction to Literature: Fiction,
Poetry, and Drama, 16th edition. Eds. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: Pearson Longman,
2010. 164-175. Print
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