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The Yellow Wallpaper: Analyzing The Narrator

948 words - 4 pages

In "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents the narrator, being the main character, as an ill woman. However, she is not ill physically. She is ill in her mind. More than any chemical imbalance that may be present; the narrator's environment is what causes her to go mad.

The narrator is never directly introduced or ever called by a name. It is obvious that this narrator is a woman, married to a named John. His name is presented, and not hers, for a reason. It is to present the fact that within herself, within her marriage to John, and within society, she feels unimportant. Within her, she feels as though, she cannot be named like others can, as though she cannot be in the same human category. She doesn't see herself as normal, like other people. Within the marriage of her and John, she feels like he is the important one. He works, she's ill and weak. She stays home and doesn't even care for the newborn child. She feels he is the respected one of the marriage. Again, within society, she feels unimportant. She feels society, which true at this point in time. Men were what were judged in life, not the women. Perhaps, the narrator feels as though she is only a piece of this man's belongings and not an important part of society. She feels as though society looks at her as only crazy because she wants to defy the norms of her world.

She herself is the one who drives her own madness, as well. She gives into how other people want her to feel. Society, at this time, wanted to women to feel anonymous, as if they were only assessed by what or who their husbands were. Instead of at once, dealing with the problem at hand, she allows it to build up. It's always been said that if one is told something numerous times, he or she will begin to believe that thing. In this case, it is making her feel almost like a hypochondriac. She allows herself to believe all she is told. She also allows herself to believe that being treated as she is is going to make her better, when in fact it is only making her worse. Her being sent up in a room, like a penitentiary will add loneliness to her illness. Her being told not to write or not to go and see family and friends, again, adds to her loneliness. She is separated from society. Therefore, she feels as though she is alone in society. She gives into the fact that the male-dominated society would rather her alone, than be with lots of women and cause chaos. She gives into everything the world wants instead of listening to her inner self. She ignores herself, causing her to act...

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