Analysis Of The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Pages: 5 (1228 words) Published: November 9, 2014


The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a short story which portrays a very common view of nineteenth century culture and medicine. The story, written in classical fiction form, has a plot, setting, a cast of characters, and a point of view from which the story is told. The way in which the story is told, and the unexpected conclusion, are two of the main reasons why “The Yellow Wallpaper” is such an important piece of nineteenth century fiction. There are few characters in the story, however, each one plays a crucial role in allowing the reader to come to a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the story by allowing the reader insight into the mind of the narrator.
The two main characters, John, a physician, and...

John refuses to accept the narrator as an equal and simply carries her back up to the nursery for more bed rest when she tries to discuss her unhappiness with the situation in a mature manner. John’s unwillingness to adapt illustrates that he is fixed in his authoritative position as a husband, and a physician, and cannot alter his ways in order to take into account his wife’s opinion in the...

The story allows the bars of the wallpaper to move and free the woman in the wallpaper from her daytime prison. The other women in the story, Jennie and Mary, both represent the traditional view of women in the nineteenth century, and encompass characteristics that the narrator could never assume. Jennie, John’s sister, takes care of the house during the narrators illness. She symbolizes the happily domesticated woman who does not find anything wrong with her domestic prison, and serves as a constant reminder of the narrator’s inability to assume her proper role as John’s wife and housekeeper, even though she not play an active role in the narrative. Mary, much like Jennie, represents the happily domesticated woman whilst taking care of the narrator’s and John’s baby. Mary is an idealized maternal figure whose only concern is her child, and is the perfect mother surrogate for the narrator. Mary is even less present in the narrative than Jennie, but she serves to remind the narrator of her personal failings as a nineteenth century woman, particularly in terms of her own...
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