Literature and Culture
September 4, 2013
The Yellow Wallpaper
When I read the passage the Yellow Wallpaper this quote stood out to me as being one of the main quotes: “ If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do? So I take phosphates or phosphites—whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas.” The reason why this quote is so important is because it creates such a Dilemma in the story. The Powerful voices of her husband, the doctor, and even her family members want her to be passive. In her own eyes though she needs exactly the opposite of being calm and easy going, she wants to be very active. Even though she thinks that she dare not speak it, for her opinion is valued or weighed at a very high level and could never change the situation of her being treated differently. Which kind of relates to the time of the book being written, when all women did was really be house wives and take care of the children. So when they told her to do exactly nothing they literaly ment just sit in a room and stare out the window.
Another quote I found interesting in this passage is when she says “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house.” Which means that while she was having her own intuition about he illness Johns instructions from previously has come back into her mind, and kind of stops her from thinking her own thoughts, and makes her focus on another subject. Which shows the control that John has over not just the physical aspects of her life but has also put a mental block inside her head. When she does this action she starts to head in a downward spiral of obsession and madness. Since she can’t think about her illness she starts to think about this yellow wallpaper in this room. Which drives her insane as she stays in that room for most of the book. Which really is the reason she is going crazy but back then they had different methods for depression.
Another quote that has a big part in the story is “There are things in that paper which nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day.It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit. I wonder—I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!” When she really starts to focus on the wall paper she zones in on this strange pattern in the wallpaper which is feeding confusing her which is putting her in this fantasy world, which is making her reality more and more disturbing because it is the actual truth. The “things in the paper are this ghosty women and the truth that she is now beginning to understand more clearly. The women that she see’s is always creeping or knelt down and in the corner kind of trapped, which is really the same situation that she is in being trapped in the room. These are some of the main points that I thought to be some critical points in the story.