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Compare/Contrast The Narrator's State Of Mind At The Beginning Versus Her State Of Mind At The End Of, "The Yellow Wallpaper"

706 words - 3 pages

Solitary confinement will cause destruction to anyone's mental state, but what if said mental state was already rocky to begin with? In, "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a woman, with a slight mental problem, is put into a room, where her state of mind slowly, declines as she falls into madness. The narrator's mental status is calm at first and levelheaded, only having a slight mental issue, then later on is slightly scattered by focusing on the wallpaper in her room, and finally by her beginning to see a woman crawling around outside and even on the wallpaper. The narrator's mental state is severely altered as she is kept isolated; her thoughts begin normal, but differ greatly as she falls into madness.
In the beginning, the narrator talks about her surroundings, and why she is in her current situation. Her state of mind is clear, as she describes what is going on prior to her being set in this room. As the narrator writes about her husband ...view middle of the document...


There comes one point in the story where the narrator has began to obsess with the wallpaper in her room. As things progress there is less mention of what the narrator is feeling and more of what she is experiencing. She eventually begins talking about the wallpaper, and how vile it is. She takes heavy note of the wallpaper and shows her strong distaste for it, "The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow turning light." (Gilman, 239).Although her calm observation of the wallpaper in the beginning is nothing but a burden to her; her thoughts no longer include rational thinking towards the wallpaper. The narrator begins to feel more of a hatred towards the wallpaper as state in this text, "This paper looks at me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had."(Gilman, 241). The narrator's thoughts towards the wallpaper are not longer observational, but crippling in a way. She is beginning to see the wallpaper as a thing that has power over her. Slowly, her mental state is being unwound, the threads that hold her sanity intact are coming undone, all do to the wallpaper.
The narrator's absurd thoughts take a turn once she speaks of a woman crawling across the yard, and eventually in the wallpaper. The narrator changes her whole daily routine to focus on this woman that she claims to see, by sleeping all day so she can stay up all night to see the woman. Eventually this is all she can think about; it consumes her. (INSERT QUOTE).
In conclusion, the narrator's mental state is severely altered through her being isolated. What was a simple mental issue, that could have easily been dealt with, was stretched and twisted into something far worse. From her calm demeanor and sane thoughts, to her outrageous act and mad thinking, her mental state has done a complete 180. Her thoughts and feelings have taken over who she is, and was, and turned her into someone, or something, completely different.

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