The Yellow Wallpaper

Submitted By Jake-Stern
Words: 1248
Pages: 5

“The Yellow Wallpaper” Essay The true meaning of the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Stetson makes one think about the meaning of sanity. The women in this stories mental state is changed based on the people around her and the environment she is placed in. First off, the relationship between her husband, John and herself is controlling. Secondly, the environment that her husband has put her in has a major effect of her sanity. Lastly, her baby has an effect on her well being. In conclusion, this story is a journey through this women`s life and how she has been effected by her surroundings.
Firstly, within this story when this woman goes on summer vacation her husband seems to have complete control over her and every movement she makes. He seems to first display a problem with control when the women explains that she has a schedule for each hour of the day. The woman says “He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special directions. I have a schedule prescription for each hour in the day; he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more.” When she says this in the story it seems as if he has tricked her that he knows what is best for her and she should be grateful that she does not have to do anything for herself. He is taking away control from her over herself which can affect her sanity by not having a say over what she does in everyday life. Her husband, John has made decisions for her throughout the story even when she does not agree with them. The wife has said “John says if I don`t pick up faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall. But I don`t want to go there at all.” This almost seems to be a turning point for this woman. She has decided that she does not want to go to this place to get better and she will prove to him that she is better before he has the chance to send her away. Lastly, he has begun to push the control further to a point where she is afraid of John. “Indeed he started the habit by making me lie down for an hour after each meal. It is a very bad habit I am convinced, for you see I don`t sleep. And that cultivates deceit, for I don`t tell them I`m awake – O no ! The fact is I am getting a little afraid of John.” says the wife. He seems to have so much control over his own wife that she is now afraid of what he is going to do to her and by him doing this he is slowly changing her mental state. In conclusion, John has completely taken control over his wife to a point where she cannot move without his say and she has almost been brain washed into thinking that she does not have a say in anything and he is always correct. Secondly, when this woman goes on summer vacation with her family there is a specific room that she is put in by her husband that slowly makes her go insane. Her husband has told his wife that she shall sleep in the upstairs room with the yellow wallpaper which begins to irritate her. She says “The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.” When she talks about the colour of the room there is almost anger in her words making her mad at the walls of the room which begins to change her mental state. Slowly, she begins to think deeper into the colour of the walls and makes it mean so much more than it should. The woman personifies the walls by saying “Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place where two breaths didn`t match and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher than the other.” By doing this she actually believes that it may be a person or maybe many people in the walls which affects her sanity largely. From there the woman now believes a woman is living in the walls and thinks that she can watch her leave and come back to the walls. She says “The front pattern does move – and no wonder ! The woman behind shakes it ! Sometimes I think there…