The Yellow Wallpaper

Submitted By alliemcdee
Words: 1075
Pages: 5

Allison McDaniel
April 19th, 2011
Lit 215

The Yellow Wallpaper
By Charlotte Perkins Gilman The narrator starts her journal by marveling at the splendor of the ancestral hall and grounds her husband; John has leased for their private summer getaway. Once the couple finally moves into the house, she immediately senses something wrong with the place, but John scorns at her fears, which seems to be a recurring theme in their marriage. Her feeling that there is “something queer” about the mansion leads her into a dialogue of her illness and that she is suffering from anxious depression. John, who is also her physician uses the line, "trust me, I’m a doctor" to persuade his wife and all their relatives that the narrator needs rest and relaxation to get rid of her depression. Her treatment enforces that she do nothing active, and she is not allowed to work or write. However in spite of what her husband says, she feels that activity and interesting work would help her condition and reveals that she has begun writing in a secret journal in order to relieve her mind. The narrator then makes an attempt to do so by describing the house and continues to describe her feelings of being spooked out by the house and John again dismisses her fears. When the narrator requests to sleep in a different room, her husband disagrees and tries not to give into her wants and needs. He recommends a sizeable room on the top floor of the house that once was a nursery. The room is perfect yet she is particularly disturbed by the yellow wallpaper in the bedroom, with its odd, shapeless pattern, and describes it as revolting. As the fourth of July passes and visitors come and go, the narrator tires. She becomes alone a lot of the time and has become fond of the yellow wallpaper and with that attempts to figure out its pattern, which becomes her primary source of amusement. As her fascination grows, the sub-pattern of the wallpaper becomes clearer. It begins to bear a resemblance to a woman stooping down and creeping behind the main pattern, which looks like the bars of a cage. The narrator is convinced that the woman escapes during the daytime so she stays awake during the night to watch the woman creep about the walls. Finally in the last week of their presence in the house the narrator manages to be alone during the daytime and goes into a frenzy. She starts biting and tearing away yards of the paper in order to free the trapped woman, whom she sees struggling inside the pattern. In the end, the narrator has gone completely insane, certain that she herself has come out of the wallpaper and that she is the trapped woman. She then creeps continuously around the room on all fours and once John breaks into the locked room he sees the horror of the situation, he faints in the doorway as she continues to crawl around his body. With the few amounts of characters in this story and the small quantity of dialogue make these characters very important giving off discrete descriptions of irony and foreshadowing. The protagonist is an adolescent upper-middle-class woman whom is lately married. The narrator is an extremely creative woman, yet as part of her cure from the depression her husband forbids her to exercise her imagination in any way, which leaves her to rebel and stay fixated on the yellow wallpaper and the house. The narrator is fighting the realization that the dilemma of the woman in the wallpaper is a symbolic variation of her own circumstances. After identifying herself with the woman in the wallpaper she is able to understand that other women are also forced to creep and hide behind the domestic patterns of their lives, and that she is also one in need of liberation. The narrator was thrown into the horror of having to lose herself in order to understand herself. She had torn herself apart in getting free of the tangled pattern of her life. The other important character, John the