the yellow wallpaper

Powerful Essays
KV RAMA RAO

The Yellow Wallpaper- A Dynamic Symbol: A Study of Charlotte Perkins Oilman 's Story
[ 'The Yellow Wallpaper ' was originally published in the January 1892 issue of Afew
England Magazine. In 1973 the Feminist Press issued a reprint of the 1899 version. Both versions have become popular. The present study is based on the original text, contained in the Gilman MSS '].

As a short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper ' is multidimensional. A sensitive woman 's struggle for liberty and freedom becomes in the end a powerful symbol of the feminist struggle for individuality, recognition and equality.
"The story was wrenched out of Gilman 's own life, and is unique in the cannon of her works," says Elain Hedges (37). As a literary masterpiece, the story generates its own meaning; it communicates effectively through images and symbols. In fact it conveys not one meaning but multiple meanings.
Some of the themes touched upon by the author, apart from the struggle for freedom and individual assertion, are - marital relationship, treatment of depression patients, the self and the other, problems confronted by a woman writer and the problem of communication.
Subtle and delicate characterization, feigned innocence, understatement and suggestion, recurrent images and growing sjnnbols, deliberate misspellings and colorful adjectives are some of the narrative-techniques employed by Gilman in building an artistic masterpiece of poignant psychological depth. Pity runs like an undercurrent throughout the story, which in the end turns into admiration. How a woman hungers for freedom to do her thing is subtly conveyed through the dynamic and growing symbol of the yellow wallpaper. Half the charm of the story lies in the attitude of ambivalence adopted by the author towards her unnamed protagonist. The depression malady of the protagonist-narrator deepens as the story progresses and she appears to be totally crazy in the end; but the interior
monologue



Cited: 1. 2. 3. JCnight, benise D., ed. Tlie Yellow Wallpaper and Selected Stories of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1994. The Yellow Wallpaper, Afterword by Elain R. Hedges. New York: Feminist Press, 1973. Howells, William Dean, ed. The Great Modem American Stories. New York: Boni & Liveright, 1920. p. vii. Poetcrit/ 44

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 913 Words
    • 4 Pages

    “The Yellow Wallpaper” For quite a long time before the past century, the female gender had been a race characterized by limited opportunity and the widespread belief of inferiority to the male gender. It was not until the women’s rights movement took off in the 1920’s that women began to enjoy having the same opportunities as men and playing an active role in society. Before that time, women were perceived as being inferior to their male counterparts and received less respect than men. This resulted…

    • 913 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Annotated Article Bibliography McGowan, Todd. “Dispossessing the Self; ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and the Renunciation of Property.” The Feminine ‘No!’: Psychoanalysis and the New Canon. Albany: State U of NY P(ress), 2001. 31-46. eNotes. Web. 7 April 2013. In a critical essay by Todd McGowan analyzing The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, he focuses on the narrator’s struggle between what she desires and controlling herself. McGowan indicates that if the narrator were to free herself…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 2497 Words
    • 7 Pages

    an ingenious woman. On the surface, her most renowned work, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” appears to be a simple journal of a women struggling with mental illness. Throughout the story, her husband, whom is also her physician, coins her state as nothing more than a mere nervous disorder. He treats her with the “rest cure.” To begin her treatment, the couple temporarily moves to an isolated summer home, and as the days pass, the wallpaper surrounding their room becomes the item for which the narrator’s…

    • 2497 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 2161 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Perspective of Women’s Hysteria in “The Yellow Wallpaper" Critics view Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" as either a work of supernatural horror or as a feminist treatise regarding the controversial role of women in society. A close analysis of Gilman 's use of symbols reveals "The Yellow Wallpaper" as her response to the male view of hysteria from ancient times through the nineteenth century. " In "The Yellow Wallpaper" Gilman questions the validity of Hippocrates…

    • 2161 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Best Essays

    Yellow Wallpaper

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages

    011 06 August 2011 Topic 3 Research Paper Assignment "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women's physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothis fiction and horror fiction. Gilman's macabre fantasy, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, exploits the nightamrish feel, violence and uncanny terror found…

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 752 Words
    • 4 Pages

    insane. In the story “The Yellow-Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the narrator is staying in a summer house with her husband, John. She is going through a nervous condition which is keeping her from working until she is well enough to do so. John takes diligent care of her as she is going through her illness and makes sure she is well taken care of. The room her and her husband are staying in, in the summer home, has yellow wallpaper. This yellow wallpaper seems to have a big effect…

    • 752 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    the yellow wallpaper

    • 1204 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Yellow Wallpaper How can a simple old yellow wallpaper drive someone insane? “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a short story by Charlotte Gilman, is about a married couple whose wife is a little sick, and John (her husband) forbidden her leave a room that has old yellow wallpaper where she’s left alone constantly and the lack of something to occupy her time causes the her to become delusional. John’s assumption of his own superior wisdom leads him to dominate his wife, all in the name of “helping” her…

    • 1204 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Yellow Wallpaper

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages

    year was "The Yellow Wallpaper" written? “The Yellow Wallpaper' was written in 1892. 4. What years did Gilman's writing career span?Gilman's writing career spanned from 1891 to 1935 5. What do most critics suggest "The Yellow Wallpaper" is about?Most critics suggest “The Yellow Wallpaper” is about a condemnation of the androcentric[->0] of the 19th-century medical profession. 6. What does the title mean? The title means that it is what the whole story is about the yellow wallpaper in the rental…

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    • 1771 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Rosemary Brown Woessner H205 May 13, 2014 The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gillman was a writer and social reformer, a feminist as she encouraged women to gain their independence. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut. Gilman was a writer and social activist during the late 1800s and early 1900s. She had a difficult childhood. Her father, Frederick Beecher Perkins was a relative of well-known and influential Beecher family, including the writer…

    • 1771 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Yellow Wallpaper

    • 1299 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Chelsey French Stacy Phillips ENGL 1010 November 28, 2012 The Yellow Wallpaper Approximately 10 to 15% of women suffer from postpartum mood disorders, including postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum psychosis ("How Many Women Get Postpartum Depression? The Statistics on PPD"). “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story about a woman, whose husband takes her away to a home out in the country. She is to believe that she has a temporary nervous condition, by which her husband, a doctor…

    • 1299 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays