Examples Of Oppression In The Yellow Wallpaper

Words: 1248
Pages: 5

Angela Winer
Dr. Bonds
29 October 2016
“Oppression and Marriage in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’” “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story that demonstrates the oppression of women in the narrator’s time period. She is a victim of her time and a patriarchal society. The audience never even learns the narrator’s name, however, the audience obtains her husband, John’s name, because he is the man; the more significant one. The world around her deems what is important for her and how to assist her health during a time of depression or a “temporary nervous depression” (Perkins 216). The story contains multiple symbols and personifications to describe her entrapment in this society. The house, the bed, and the wallpaper
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The wallpaper becomes an obsession that breaks her already frail sanity. The wallpaper, however, is just a representation of her own oppression. She, at first, describes paper as “dead,” when discussing her writings, yet the reader slowly realizes that she believes this wallpaper is truly alive (216). She personifies the paper, stating that it commits “every artistic sin” (217). She goes on to state that it is “dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study…” (217). The wallpaper represents her own identity crisis. She is a woman, struggling with depression, while trying to be an obedient wife. She lives a boring life, while chaffing to do more. She feels dull and irritated and instantly projects these emotions on to her room. She, also, states that she gets “positively angry with the impertinence of it [wallpaper] and the everlastingness” (219). This sentence parallels with how she feels about her role in life. She is becoming frustrated and disillusioned. While the wallpaper appears to others as charming and traditional, to her it represents her resentment with her …show more content…
The wallpaper and its obnoxious design represent marriage, and she is the woman on the other end struggling to escape. She, also, describes the pattern, which symbolizes the marriage as “torture” and states that it reminds her of a “fungus” (223). A fungus is a living organism which requires a host to live. It is a parasitic relationship, and this is how she feels about marriage. Even the others in the story begin to be affected by the paper. John’s sister states, “The paper stained everything it touched” (224). Her marriage, the paper, has had an effect on her health, her husband’s life, and her sister in law. This seeping leads to the conclusion of the story where the reader witnesses the narrator’s complete mental collapse. She peels off “yards of paper” (227). When she recognizes that she is one of the women from the wallpaper, she begins to disobey her husband-fully embracing madness. The paper was her oppression and her restraints. She had to shred it to become