A wife and a mother, our Narrator has been put on the rest cure by her husband. Although reluctant at first, she feels she has no other option than to obey him, as he is her husband and a well respected Physician. Throughout this story she is constantly undermined by her husband and feels animosity towards him because of this. First arriving at the manor she shows an imaginative side commenting on supernatural forces that may reside in the house. After being forced to move towards the bed upstairs, she begins to focus on the yellow wallpaper. The Narrator shows disgust for the wallpaper, commenting “It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others. No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long” (Gilman 8).
John is the Narrator’s husband, a physician and a somewhat arrogant but caring man. John is too blinded by his own pedigree to realize his wife if suffering. Through the story john constantly gives condescending reminders that his wife’s illness is miniscule, from leaving his wife to visit other mental cases, to simply laughing at ideas of the wallpaper. John’ constantly ignores his wife’s calls for help while dismissing her depression as women’s issues, his sextist view as a physician is why so many women have been denied serious medical help. Although John cares about his wife, he is too blinded by his sexist mentality to realize he is actually doing more damage than actually help his wife.
As our Narrator’s condition worsens she begins to grow frantic and impatience with her husbands controlling attitude. “Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,--to dress and entertain, and other things.” (Gilman 9), Through these words she shows her deteriorating drive and a growing depression. Her fixation on the wallpaper grows as the days goes on as she begins to examining the patterns more closely, rubbing against them and smearing her cloths with yellow smudges. As she spends more time in her room, it becomes somewhat of a symbol for her isolation. A nursery with no children: a reminder that she can no longer take care of her child. The bars on the windows enclosing her freedom as if she is a