Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Good Essays
CHARLOTEE PERKINS GILLMAN
THE YELLOW WALLPAPER (1892)

The cult of true womanhood defined women as “ladies”(pure, diligent). When we talk about American woman, we have to specify their religion, sexual orientation, race, social class (it is therefore essentialist to talk about “women” in general. Depending on the group which they are in, certain coordinates are applicable.
The Yellow Wallpaper is about a white, protestant, heterosexual woman at the end of the 19th century in the higher middle class. Gilman wanted to obtain more freedom and in order to do so, she had to rebel against the most important institution oppressing her: MARRIAGE. (1)
Nowadays, the typical happy family is outdated and doesn’t exist.
Gilman lived at a time when the perfect family was imposed on women (spinsters and bachelors were frowned upon in protestant society).
The upper class women were brought up with the sole aim of being good housewives and mothers. The idea of a woman reading a book was frowned upon in society and they were only encouraged to read moralising and exemplary tales (eg. The angel in the house).

Young girls were accompanied by a “chaperone”, who had the role of looking after and policy them.

The Yellow Wallpaper takes place in a Victorian house and attic which used to be a nursery. Spaces in the house were GENDERED (some spaces were meant for men and some for women: kitchen, sitting room for women and library for men. The upper stories of the house become a gothic territory: THE ATTIC = discarded things

This space is exploited from a literary point of view, whereby women who don’t fit into the cult of true womanhood are enclosed /imprisoned (= old object that doesn’t work). The most important example of this is JANE EYRE (Mrs. Rochester is locked in the attic and dies in a fire so Mr. Rochester could Marry Jane, even though he became blind/She is imprisoned due to the colour of her skin. The husband can´t show her).
This is a literary image and

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    An Analysis of “The Yellow Wallpaper” “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, expresses that wasting away in solitude can eventually lead to insanity and desolation. To begin with, the narrator is a woman suffering from postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a very rare illness that affects some woman shortly after they deliver their new-born babies. A brief summary of the story concludes that the narrator spends all of her time alone in self-reflection until solitude is all…

    • 1075 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Yellow Wall-Paper Literary Analysis Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses her short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” to show how women undergo oppression by gender roles. Gilman does so by taking the reader through the terrors of one woman’s changes in mental state. The narrator in this story becomes so oppressed by her husband that she actually goes insane. The act of oppression is very obvious within the story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and shows how it changes one’s life forever. The…

    • 1405 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    children and clean the house. Women were supposed to live their lives in the “domestic sphere.” This way of living is the way that John, the narrator's husband, expected her to live. The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” was not happy or willing to live this way and became ill. The yellow wallpaper used in the narrator's room symbolizes female imprisonment. The narrator uses a horror-themed tale in order to show the position women had in their marriages. Their marriages were very one-sided, the man…

    • 942 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story inspired by the authors real life experiences. Having suffered from a bout of depression, Gilman was prescribed rest and told to refrain from writing, which only made things worse by increasing her preexisting depression. “The Yellow Wallpaper” tells a similar tale about a depressed wife who is prescribed bed rest by her husband, who also happens to be a physician. They rent a house for the summer, where the narrator spends her time…

    • 497 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis As I started reading this short story, it clearly introduced who the characters are and where it took place. The narrator is a woman; she has no name, remains anonymous throughout the story. She lives with her husband John in a house. This house is isolated from society, since the short story indicates that it is far from village, roads or any means of communication. It also contains locks and gates throughout. The woman is ill and this illness has placed her in…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    What Does The Wallpaper Symbolise In 'The Yellow Wallpaper'? 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who in her lifetime produced many short stories, novels, essays and poetry. She was born in 1860 in Connecticut, USA and was brought up by a single mother. After giving birth to her daughter Katherine in 1884 she fell into a deep, post-natal depression and was told to go on the 'rest cure'. This is a period spent in inactivity with the intention of improving…

    • 663 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is a very interesting story of a woman defeating domination by the man figures in her life. Gilman reveals to the readers how a woman going through postpartum depression feels loneliness and isolation from the outside world, and suppresses her own interests. Gilman discloses how men used to treat women, and how women’s needs and interests were suppressed at that time. The central idea of this story is that women, who are going through any kind of health…

    • 742 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    In Charlotte Perkins Gilmans’ The Yellow Wallpaper, the main theme is the oppression and repression of woman. We follow the narrator as her confinement within herself and her room slowly drive her insane. The main character is trapped by the wallpaper’s vine pattern, which she sees as a cage other women are stuck behind, just as her physician husband has trapped her in the room. There is also a gender division throughout the story. This gender division had the effect of keeping the narrator in a…

    • 1399 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    before making rash judgments. The same must be done for the characters of the stories. In order for readers to truly understand what these individuals are feeling and thinking, it is important to put one's self in their situation. The story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a tale of a sick woman and her husband, John, which have just moved into a new house. As the plot progresses, it is easy to judge the way the two interact and treat each other. It is important to study John's behavior to actually understand…

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    English 1A03 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892) - American writer - writer of fiction and non-fiction - feminist - wrote novel called "Herland" (feminist - this short story is about women's mental conditions - story read as critical response about how a male dominated world treated these illnesses -she suffered post partum depression after birth of her first child Feminist * criticism and literature We might read Gilman's fiction as an extension of her progressive…

    • 792 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays