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Isolation Can Lead To Insanity In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper

1115 words - 5 pages

Insanity
Being left alone for long periods of time can certainly mess with a person’s way of thinking. Isolation can often lead to insanity as you are alone with your thoughts and are able to go deep into exploring your mind. Someone with an unstable state of mind needs to express themself rather than being secluded, because this leads to them being in a state of forced inactivity which is destined for self-destruction. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses irony, symbolism, and epiphany to show how the narrator’s fragile state of mind can easily be altered by isolating her.
The irony between the two characters shows us how the narrator has a false sense of how a ...view middle of the document...

Right when John believed that his wife was getting cured, she looses all her self-control and sinks into the fantasy of the yellow wallpaper.
With nothing to stimulate her, the narrator becomes infatuated with the pattern and color of the yellow wallpaper, which symbolizes her insanity. It symbolizes her insanity because she has no one else to talk to and believes that the yellow wallpaper is the one thing that is speaking to her. “I didn’t realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind that dim sub-patter, but now I am quite sure it is a woman” (Gilman 485). This shows the narrators decent into her insanity. The woman that she is seeing in the wallpaper is actually herself, symbolizing how she is trapped behind and needs to get out. The narrators truly expresses herself at night, as she says, “As soon as it was moonlight that poor thing began to crawl and shake the pattern, I got up and ran to help her . . . and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper” (Gilman 488). John does not allow for his wife to go around exploring her mind, he does not even allow her to write, so she keeps everything in and then releases all her thoughts when she is alone at night. This does not help her state of mind at all as it only makes her more insane by not being able to express herself. She is tearing down the wallpaper in hopes the find the “woman” behind it, which represents her struggle to regain her sanity. The narrator is convinced that by tearing down the wallpaper she is tearing away the forces of entrapment that her husband has forced onto her. She was trapped behind the color and the pattern, thus leading her to create her own madness. The wallpaper drove the narrator away from any traces of sanity that she had left in her, leading to her realization of her becoming free at last.
The narrator’s Epiphany occurs when John faints after he sees his wife loose her mind, which is used to show how the narrator is finally rising over her husband and has at last escaped from his confinement. After John realizes that his wife has not been...

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