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 the passage, Gilman criticizes the practice of the resting cure by showing the harmful effects of isolation and the reduction of a person to an infantile state.
One of the main strategies for the resting cure is having the patient be in almost complete isolation from the rest of normal, functioning society. In the passage, the speaker is not only shut away in an secluded house, but she is also only allowed the company of her husband, John, and her husband’s sister, Jennie. A lot of the time, John “is kept in town very often,” and Jennie “lets [the speaker] alone,” therefore isolating her even further. Because the speaker spends so much time on her own, she’s left to descend even further into her own madness, which is the exact opposite of what the resting cure is supposed to do. Instead of healing the speaker and bringing her out of her horrific mental abyss, it leaves her to continue to fall prey to her own thoughts. This is precisely why the speaker becomes so fixated on the decrepit yellow wallpaper lining her bedroom. Every time she lies in her room, she cannot help but be consumed by its ambiguous pattern, and she vows that she’ll “follow that pointless pattern to some sort of a conclusion.” Because she is so alone and so alienated from the rest of the world, she has little else to do than drive herself even more insane by laboring over this pattern. As the story goes on, she eventually is pushed completely over the deep end by it, even going so far as to believe that she has become a part of it. Clearly, as a whole, the practice of removing all social interaction for a mentally ill person does more harm than good, seeing...

Find Another Essay On The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

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

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

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

2519 words - 10 pages The Yellow Wallpaper In 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The story is written in first person narrative in the form of twelve journal entries as if the reader is reading the author’s actual journal. This style allows the reader to understand what the narrator is experiencing. It centers on a young woman who, after having a baby, does not savor the roles of wife and mother. So, she is diagnosed with a nervous

The Yellow Wallpaper

914 words - 4 pages “The Yellow Wallpaper”: Gender Roles During the time period in which Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”, discrimination towards women was widely evident throughout most of the world. It was especially obvious in nineteenth-century America due to historical evidence not relevant to this topic, but this was the time period that Gilman grew up in; therefore, it is easy to see why a female writer would chose to write about such a

The yellow wallpaper

627 words - 3 pages      The plot of “The Yellow Wallpaper” comes from a moderation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s personal experience. In 1887, just two years after the birth of her first child, Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell diagnosed Gilman with neurasthenia, an emotional disorder characterized by fatigue and depression. Mitchell decided that the best prescription would be a “rest cure”. Mitchell encouraged Gilman to “Live a domestic life as

The Yellow Wallpaper

900 words - 4 pages The Yellow Wallpaper In the grips of depression and the restrictions prescribed by her physician husband a woman struggles with maintaining her sanity and purpose. As a new mother and a writer, and she is denied the responsibility and intellectual stimulation of these elements in her life as part of her rest cure. Her world is reduced to prison-like enforcement on her diet, exercise, sleep and intellectual activities until she is "well

The Yellow Wallpaper - 1218 words

1218 words - 5 pages that there is a woman that is trapped behind the yellow wallpaper. The setting of the room symbolizes the loneliness the narrator is undergoing. The narrator has her mind encased that there is a woman struggling and in her solitary room, she feels its true and she is even seen fighting for her. The author used the room to symbolize what the main character was going through all alone in the isolated estate where she was brought by her husband. The

"The Yellow Wallpaper"

1115 words - 4 pages "The Yellow Wallpaper" Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" first appeared in 1892 and became a notary piece of literature for it' s historical and influential context. Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" was a first hand account of the oppression faced toward females and the mentally ill,whom were both shunned in society in the late 1890's. It is the story of an unnamed woman confined by her doctor-husband to an attic nursery with

The Yellow Wallpaper

1473 words - 6 pages When looking at two nineteenth century works of change for two females in an American society, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Stephen Crane come to mind. A feminist socialist and a realist novelist capture moments that make their readers rethink life and the world surrounding. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” was first published in 1892, about a white middle-class woman who was confined to an upstairs room by her husband and doctor, the room’s

Understanding The Yellow Wallpaper

1226 words - 5 pages Understanding The Yellow Wallpaper      There are more reported cases of clinical depression in women than their are in men. There is also, generalized in western cultures, a stereotype that women are fragile and should be more dedicated to maintaining the home, doing feminine things, that they shouldn't work, and be discouraged from intellectual thinking. In the Victorian period (1837-1901) aside from women's suffragette movements the

Similar Essays

The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

1017 words - 5 pages Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow-Wall Paper” is, on the surface, a story about a woman driven mad due to a combination of post-partum depression and the potentially devastating effects of the treatment methods employed at the time. However, the story is also, in a deeper sense, about the fundamental identity of women in the 19th century. Gilman gives voice to this issue by painting a picture of the life of Jane, the protagonist in the

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

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"

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