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The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman Analysis

1262 words - 6 pages

Madness is one of the key themes in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is presented in a way that makes the work of literature a very diverse short story. Although madness isn’t the only theme, it helps the reader better understand many of the other themes in the story. For example, gender inequality, freedom, and confinement. All of these topics can be analyzed through the idea of madness in the story. When I first read this short story I was looking at it through a narrow view of madness and insanity. However, when I read the story again in another course, it allowed me to look at the other themes in this story and analyze them. Because of this I was able to notice ...view middle of the document...

So I try. I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would re­lieve the press of ideas and rest me.”(2, Gilman) This reminded me of when I read Madness and Civilization, and how they locked up the people who they believed was mad. They confined them because they believed they were beast like and that their creativity was ruining them. Just like the people in Madness and Civilization, the narrator’s husband John believed that taking away the things that could increase the narrator’s imagination and confining her would help cure her madness. Although this helped with her decent into madness, it actually gave me a depiction of how people were actually treated in the past. It also helped me see the reasoning behind her issues and how she ended up becoming even madder than before.
Another thing that I enjoyed about the book was the author’s use of descriptive language. The way she described the events that occurred aided in the comprehension of the narrator’s madness. “The front pattern does move - and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over. Then in the very ' bright spots she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard.”(8, Gilman) This quote from the story was one of my favorites. I say this because when I read it I was almost able to see the woman behind the wallpaper myself. The way that she described it had me seeing the exact things the narrator was seeing. I started wondering whether or not I was going mad as well. This is when I realized that Gilman was successful in representing the madness that the narrator was going through. I was able to experience what the narrator was experiencing, so it helped me understand her and her decent into madness more clearly.
However, there was one thing about the story that I had mixed feelings about. The ending was the part that stood out the most to me. I loved it and it at the same time. The reason that I loved it was because of its symbolic meaning. The narrator was finally freed from being confined behind the walls. The way I interpreted this was that she was finally freed from her confinement as the “true woman”. According to the “Cult of...

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