16 September 2014
Respond Paper: The Yellow Wallpaper The yellow wallpaper was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this book is known for its feminists literary ties. The narrator wrote this during the Victorian Era. An era full of constrictment towards women.The story is a set of journals written from the point of view of a woman undergoing a -mental breakdown- defined as what we call "postpartum depression.” Gilman experiences oppression by marriage, society standards and her confinement in life. Her husband and physician prescribed her “the bed rest cure” which consists of isolation, confinement to bed, avoidance of any physical activity , and she is especially forbidden from working and writing. In the contrary, the narrator feels that activity, freedom, and interesting work would help her get better and writes that she has begun her secret journal in order to “relieve her mind.” (Gilman 376) It is not that Gilman's husband is evil, John does loves her very dearly as he expresses over and over again, but seems to be wrapped around society standards. Gilman describes the room where she is to stay as a former nursery room where bars adorn the windows, the bed is nailed to the floor "looks as if it had been through the wars.” But she doesn’t mind that a bit "--only the paper.” (Gilman 379)
A yellow wallpaper covers the walls which she is repelled by. She then obsesses about the paper in which she sees frightful patterns and an imprisoned female figure trying to escape. As this story is from the Victorian Era , it reveals a lot of what women at the time were going through. Women had not yet been given the right to vote, they were to only care for the house the children and the husband, nothing else. Many of them felt trapped, metaphorically as if behind a wallpaper, like the narrator portrays. This is a story about what it really means to redefining yourself in literature in the process of writing in circumstances which are not considered normal. The narrator, through her journals, provides a lot of room for speculations that she is insane and though that it may be true, she is insane by the conventional standard. In the process of seeing a woman in the wallpaper she is seeing herself. Gillman new from the very beginning, she had something. "You see he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?" (Gilman 376) She is aware that she is not well and clearly wishes to be well again but her husband John is choosing to ignore her plea. She herself is baffled at her husband for his negligence, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency what is one to do?” (Gilmans 376). It is clear that she feels so alone due to her troubles since she spends every day of her treatment in seclusion inside the “atrocious nursery” (Gilman 377). What it was first a postpartum depression emerged to a mental illness. She was trapped not only within herself but also physically found herself stuck in a room that gave her no room to overcome her depression the way that she knew she should. She becomes private, hiding her interest in the paper and making sure no one else examines it so that she can “find it out” on her own what the markings meant. John thinks she is improving. But she sleeps less and less.
The narrator describes her life at first as a vivid girl, but as she keeps writing, she describes herself as miserable. The pattern on the wallpaper remind her how she is trap in the house. As the pattern repasts and does not have a beginning or an end, her life does not have a meaning. She have dreams of being a writer but is unable to write because John hate when she writes. She knows she is to become a something in life, and enjoy her child through her depression. Gillman's insanity