05 May 2012
Delashmit, Margaret, and Charles Long. "Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Explicator
50 (Fall 1991): 32-33.
In this article, Delashmit and Long come to the conclusion that Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" bears significant resemblances to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. First of all, "Gilman's yellow room parallels Bronte's red room: both are large rooms located in the upper regions of the house; a massive bed is the focal point of both; and the intimidating color of each alters as various lights play on it". Another parallel is between Gilman's John and Bronte's John Reed. Gilman's John assigns the narrator to a large former nursery whose walls are covered in "hideous yellow wallpaper". Similarly, Bronte's John Reed orders Jane Eyre to be imprisoned in a red room against her will. The similarities continue when Bronte's Jane wonders, "whether her red room is haunted, and Gilman's narrator observes that the house feels haunted". Finally, the names "Jane and John," which suggest common relationships between ordinary people, the haunted colored rooms, the isolation, the escape through madness and the Gothic elements "all suggest the possibility of a closer correspondence between these two works than has been previously noted". Johnson, Greg. "Gilman's Gothic Allegory: Rage and Redemption in 'The Yellow
Wallpaper."' Studies in Short Fiction 26 (1989): 521-530.
Johnson suggests "The Yellow Wallpaper" contains Gothic themes such as "confinement and rebellion, forbidden desire and 'irrational' fear . . . the distraught heroine, the forbidding mansion, and the powerfully repressive male antagonist". Gilman uses these Gothic elements to unleash the nineteenth-century woman writer from the domestic, social and psychological confinements of patriarchal society. The focus of the story moves continuously inward, describing the narrator's absorption into the Gothic world of chaos and