Feminist Analysis of Yellow Wallpaper

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A Woman Trapped: A Feminist Analysis of the Yellow Wallpaper

The short story, the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman can be analyzed in depth by both the psycho-analytic theory and the feminist theory. On one hand the reader witnesses the mind of a woman who travels the road from sanity to insanity to suicide “caused” by the wallpaper she grows to despise in her bedroom. On the other hand, the reader gets a vivid picture of a woman’s place in 1911 and how she was treated when dealing what we now term as post-partum depression. The woman I met in this story was constantly watched and controlled by her husband to such an extreme that she eventually becomes pychootic and plots to make her escape.

From the very start of
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“You know the place is doing you good, he said, and really dear, I don’t care to renovate the house for just a three months' rental.’ The narrated if forced remain trapped in a room that literally begins to drive her crazy.

There comes a time in this story where the reader can clearly see that woman in the story crosses into insanity. She starts to describe the wallpaper pattern in more human terms, “…plunge off at outrageous angles and destroying themselves in unheard-of-contradictions.” The longer she stays in the bedroom, the more the wallpaper appears to mutate and change, especially in the moonlight. She believes the wallpaper is comprised of “eyes” that are always watching, much like she is always being watched and controlled by John. With no other stimuli than the wallpaper, the pattern and designs become increasingly intriguing .The narrator begins to notice different layers throughout the wallpaper and labels them “front” and “back”, and sees a woman in the sub-pattern. She eventually decides that there is a woman creeping on all fours behind the “bars” created by the shadows, who is trying to escape her own prison. This woman being trapped in the wallpaper just as the narrator was trapped in the room. She tries to escape the room requesting to go visit her cousins, but again John shoots the ides down. “But he said I wasn’t able to go, nor able to stand it