Close Reading #2
The Yellow Wallpaper
The Yellow Wallpaper is a specific short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is a story that focuses in on several different points by using specific texts and literary devices. While reading closely over the text there was one particular passage that stood out to me. It read “This wallpaper has a kind of sub pattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one, for you can only see it in certain lights, and not clearly then. But in the places where it isn’t faded, and when the sun is just so, I can see a strange provoking formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design.” (The Yellow Wallpaper, pg. 267-268) The reason for choosing this particular passage is because I wanted to look at how the specific words that she uses in it help create and back up her argument. The argument being made through this text is one that speaks to the authors ability or lack there of to have self-expression and thoughts.
The author is forced to hide her journal from John and the sister because John had forbid it. He forbid her of any sort of imagination and told her to do whatever was necessary to keep her mind from wandering. This can been seen as a reference back to the particular passage stated earlier because the author is talking about how there is a sub pattern and this is a look into how there may be a sub pattern in the ideas of marriage. When the sun hits it just right you can start to see the formation of provoking figure, this would be in reference to the argument that women have good ideas and thoughts but that they are overshadowed by society’s view of the woman and therefore she can never truly escape its grip. The author is consistently longing for an emotional and intellectual outlet to help provide some relief to her mind. The author knows that a mind, which is being kept within a particular state of inactivity, is only bound for self-destruction.