“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, tells the story of a woman struggling with her insanity. While the insanity is obvious, where it comes from is allusive to the reader. It is possible that her environment could spark the changes in her mental state, but her husband is not innocent in the matter. When environment and marital pressure are combined, Jane tries to escape from it all by trying to free herself.
Jane’s new home seems to make her feel very uncomfortable from the beginning of “The Yellow Wallpaper” when she states “that there is something queer about it.” She says that John tells her the vacation home will be a good place for her, but even seems unsure of that proclamation herself (Gilman 956). Jane begins to describe her environment and speaks of how she is unsure of exactly what the room was used for before her arrival. She speaks of bars on the windows and strange rings on the wall. More significantly she speaks of the “repellant” and “revolting” wallpaper on the wall that seems to disturb Jane a deal more than any of the other odd décor in the room. She also speaks of how the children must have really hated it and that is why is has been peeled off in places (Gilman 957). The wallpaper continues to bother Jane throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper”, but Jane also begins to dislike her husband.
Jane is often very inconsistent about when she likes her husband, and when she hates him. She seems to constantly battle with the idea that her spouse is actually helping her when he tries to prevent her from doing things such as writing (Hume 6). Jane also seems to be fearful of her husband and even states so “The fact is I am getting a little afraid of John,” (Gilman 963). Jane also talks of how she is afraid of John catching her writing and feels that she has to constantly control herself so that she does not displease her husband (Hume 8). She talks of having to sneak around him to write because he dislikes her doing so (Gilman 957). John also tries to keep Jane from contacting her family even when Jane repeatedly asks to see her cousins (Gilman 958). With the constant confinement from humans and the inability to release ones thoughts by even writing is enough to drive anyone to some extent of insanity.
While Jane’s insanity comes from several different outside sources, she is aware of her condition and tries to escape it. Jane says, “You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well underway in following it turns a back-somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you. It is like a bad dream.” This quote is about the wallpaper, but it is also represents Jane’s life, she feels that sometimes she gets a handle on her sickness and then it creeps back...