Analysis Of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

1177 words - 5 pages

Through a woman's perspective of assumed insanity, Charlotte Perkins Gilman comments on the role of the female in the late nineteenth century society in relation to her male counterpart in her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper." Gilman uses her own experience with mental instability to show the lack of power that women wielded in shaping the course of their psychological treatment. Further she uses vivid and horrific imagery to draw on the imagination of the reader to conceive the terrors within the mind of the psychologically wounded.

The un-named woman is to spend a summer away from home with her husband in what seems to be almost a dilapidated room of a "colonial mansion" (Gilman 832). In order to cure her "temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency" (Gilman 833) she is advised to do no work and to never to even think of her condition. This is the advice of her husband John who also fills the role as her physician.

This response to mental instability is important to Gilman's own agenda. In being under the care of her own husband the narrator takes on the role of his inferior. She is even deemed with child-like affections such as "little girl" (Gilman 838) and her very place of confinement is a nursery. The physical description of the room serves two of Gilman's purposes. First she says "It was a nursery first, and then playroom and gymnasium" (Gilman 834) to show that the room had been used by children in the past. Through this she identifies the status of women to that of a child- helpless and subservient to the power of others. She continues to say "the windows are barred" (Gilman 834) to describe the prison like quality of her surroundings showing the confinement of both her physical and mental being.

As a feminist writer, Gilman uses her supposedly mad character to show the lack of power women have in their own lives. For example the narrator wishes to reside in a downstairs room that "opened onto the piazza and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hangings" (Gilman 834). In order to better mental health a physician with the correct training would think that surroundings would play a large impact on mood and temperament. However, her husband is oblivious to this assumption for he chooses a huge room that takes up almost the entire floor.

This attitude is important in showing the lack of communication between husband and wife. He fails to see her psychological issues for what they are and his actions to mediate her supposed problem only make it worse. The narrator even questions the treatment prescribed by her husband and brother in saying "Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good" (Gilman 833). However even though she can question her treatment she is powerless to change it. Gilman uses this to again show the inferiority of women to men of this era.

Gilman's use of...

Find Another Essay On Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Analysis of Charlotte Gilmans' "The Yellow Wallpaper"

1249 words - 5 pages The Yellow Wallpaper is a first-person narrative, which on one hand can be very limiting in what information is revealed to the reader. Not only can this single voice remember facts differently than other witnesses, the reader must realize that the narrator may not even be telling the truth. On the other hand, the first-person perspective gives a sense of "knowing" the narrator, by being able to read their thoughts. By writing the story as a

Literary Analysis "The Yellow Wallpaper"

672 words - 3 pages In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's “The Yellow Wallpaper” we are introduced to a woman who enjoys writing. Gilman does not give the reader the name of the women who narrates the story through her stream of consciousness. She shares that she has a nervous depression condition. John, the narrator’s husband feels it is “a slight hysterical tendency” (266). She has been treated for some nervous habits that she feels are legitimately causing harm to her

Analysis Of The Yellow Wallpaper And Story Of An Hour

1111 words - 4 pages The stories of the Yellow Wallpaper and Story of an Hour are both stories that have deep meaning, and many hidden symbols. In both stories there is a woman who in some way is oppressed by some outside force and must find a way to overcome this oppression. While in both stories the main charcter goes through a different ordeal, The main theme behind these events are the same and the two experiences can compare to eachother. the events match in

Analysis of Women’s Oppression in “The Yellow Wallpaper”

687 words - 3 pages Analysis of Women's Oppression in "The Yellow Wallpaper"Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" could be described as the story, or rather, journey of a woman descending into madness, but what is the origin of this madness? What exactly causes this woman to collapse into a swallowing depth of mental instability? For this analytical paper, Gilman's underlying theme of women's oppression will be briefly explored and noted as the basis

Critical Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins

1245 words - 5 pages Critical Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a detailed account of the author’s battle with depression and mental illness. Gilman’s state of mental illness and delusion is portrayed in this narrative essay. Through her account of this debilitating illness, the reader is able to relate her behavior and thoughts to that of an

Character Analysis of Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"

1078 words - 4 pages In Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" the main character is a woman who might have been slowly slipping into a state of insanity, but her husband caused the process to escalate as quickly as it did. Gilman's insanity was not inflicted maliciously or intentionally, but grew out of erroneous ideas. She was forced to listen and accept the diagnosis of men without the ability to express what she felt her condition was. Women of that time were

Symbolism Of "The Yellow Wallpaper

2249 words - 9 pages Upon a normal and very literal reading of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", the main character, a woman, appears to be a mad and raving lunatic. Throughout the story she rants and raves about the strange yellow wallpaper in the colonial mansion that she is forced to stay in for a short period of time while she is recovering from depression. She does not stop at talking about how strange she finds the wallpaper in the mansion

Theme of The Yellow Wallpaper

1023 words - 4 pages The Yellow WallpaperCharlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is an account of a mentally disturbed woman and her husband's attempts to help her get well by convincing her that continual seclusion and constant bed rest is the only way to cure her psychological condition. The woman is then confined to a room in which she slowly begins to go insane. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is not so much a description of female insanity as it is a

Incarceration Of “The Yellow Wallpaper”

1190 words - 5 pages Incarceration of "The Yellow Wallpaper" By Billy Robertson "The Yellow Wallpaper", by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a late-nineteenth century story of a new mother suffering from what is called today post-partum depression. Lacking advanced medical knowledge, her physician husband diagnoses her with a nervous disorder and instructs her to abandon her intellectual life and avoid any stimulating activity. Conforming to the social rules of the era

The Yellow Wallpaper and the Feminine Struggle: An analysis of symbolism of the Wallpaper

1751 words - 7 pages the paper hid are free.Works CitedGarcia, V. (1998, July 27). Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" with links for primary symbols and images. Retrieved May 25, 2008, from American Literature Research and Analysis: 3Gilman, C. P. (2007). Why I wrote the Yellow Wallpaper? In S. M. Gilbert, & S. Gubar, The Norton Anthology Of Literature By Women: The Traditions in English

THE YELLOW WALLPAPER: A literary analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gillman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" from a feminist perspective.

800 words - 3 pages In her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman symbolically portrays women's treatment and confinement by men in the nineteenth century. Gilman wrote the account more than one hundred years ago, driven directly by her own personal experiences of having to face the male-dominated society she lived in.The female narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is suffering from a "temporary nervous condition," which is essentially

Similar Essays

Analysis Of "The Yellow Wall Paper"

1190 words - 5 pages An Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"One of the most inspiring short stories I have read was "The Yellow Wallpaper", written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this story Gilman uses the narrator's postpartum depression as a way to disguise the point she is trying to make. The symbolism of "The Yellow Wallpaper" can be recognized right away. In most literary works the problems or views of society are often included. Although Gilman's story reads as

Analysis Of 'yellow Wallpaper'

833 words - 3 pages The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a first person narrative about a woman with a mild mental disorder that because of an ineffective treatment and her husband's disregard for her true illness, grows into a serious debilitating problem.The author, Gilman herself, suffered from a nervous disorder similar to the woman in "The Yellow Wallpaper." She was diagnosed and treated with "rest treatment"; no more than two hours of

The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

763 words - 4 pages Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, not much was known about how to treat mental illnesses. At the time, many doctors felt that an appropriate way to handle such a thing was something known as the “resting cure,” which called for doing little more than “resting” by oneself. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s epistolary short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the main speaker writes of her reclusive treatment for her own mental illness. Throughout

An Analysis Of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

1198 words - 5 pages The story of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins is one of the most famous accounts of madness in 19th century literature; taking the form of a woman’s journal who is receiving treatment for mental illness. Through the journal, she records her experiences and her mental life as she descends into what appears to be complete madness. Perkins is keen to stress both the singular experience of mental illness and ways in which this condition