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Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1024 words Published: 19th Oct 2021

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The events of the storyteller in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" as she gradually plunges into a condition of madness and loss of character because of the choices brought on by the men in her life, uncovers the stunning condition that a majority of marriages were in during that age, as well as the manner in which women were being treated by their male relatives and husbands. It is intriguing to consider that although this popular narrative is in reference to the authors’ encounter with depression. The way the narrator’s life ends, whose name is found to be Jane, contrasts from the writer's life decisions, however the two circumstances are fundamentally the same. Along these lines, Gilman gives the audience a "Consider the possibility that?" situation dependent on her choices. The narrator of the story is viewed by the audience as a victim of a set of circumstances and miscommunications.

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” takes place during the nineteenth century, where women were oppressed and regarded as lower individuals of society. The short story is based around the life of the wife of a youthful and outstanding physician, her foreseen recovery, fight with post-partum depression that was concluded as an anxiety disorder by her physician, and her following expulsion to a place of residence in the wide open so she could get"… air, and practice and exercise and [she is]… absolutely forbidden to “‘work”’ until [she was] … well again” (Gilman).

Initially, the storyteller, Jane is dividing between a significant number of feelings, and sentiments: stress, anxiety, fear of not making the best choices for her new child. Be that as it may, she appears as though she was previously a firmly obstinate woman, a small amount that can be observered when she does not agree with her husband, and specialist regarding their conclusion of her status, and proceeds to privately write. Regardless of the fright she is experiencing, Jane shows up to the house hopeful about her recuperation despite the fact that it was, “…quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village” (Gilman). In any case, this hopefulness blurred when Jane discovered the room the area she would share with her husband, John, and the wallpaper that in the long run contributed to her losing her sanity. Like a marriage during the that era, Jane's husband does not counsel her regarding the state of her mental health, but disregards her, thinking her mental illness was trivial since he most likely felt she was excessively "frail" to recognize what was beneficial herself. Generally, during this time, women were seen as more fragile, and when women got married, their privileges, legacy, and property, and even their way of life as an individual nearly stopped to prevail. She was ceased to be an individual able of practical conviction, but is viewed as a mere sidekick, and augmentation of John, who had legal authority enact decisions for Jane as he sees relevant. Married women were believed to only be valid for the kitchen, the children, and to be submissive to the men surrounding their being.

Greg Johnson, a literary analyst in a section of his book “Gilman's Gothic Allegory: Rage and Redemption in “The Yellow Wallpaper” ponders societal link between Emily Dickinson’s mother and Jane in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and discovers a similarity: “Both include such Gothic staples as the distraught heroine, the forbidding mansion, and the powerfully repressive male antagonist. ” (Johnson 522) The mother of Emily Dickinson, before she had to her child, approached her significant other for another wallpaper, yet her mother’s “stern-tempered” husband “…Apparently dismayed by this outburst of feminine whimsy…refused, prompting Mrs. Dickinson to her only recorded act of wifely defiance.” (Johnson 521) You can compare this instance to how the inquiries that Jane asked her husband in The Yellow were disregarded over and over. For instance, her suggestion that they move to another area in the house, or get an alternative wallpaper was likewise observed as womanly absurdity. It is a complexity in any case, that in spite of the fact that the storyteller continues rehashing all through the starting pages of the story that her significant other cherishes her so much, he continually causes her to cower and disregard her emotions by saying they are “…a false, and foolish fancy” (Gilman). This makes the audience speculate that instead of actually caring for her, John only wanted to keep Jane shackled. This hypothesis is upheld by the author John S. Bak, in his passage “Escaping the jaundiced eye: Foucauldian Panopticism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper,”. Through confining Jane to this room, her husband takes after the corrective officials of the eighteenth-century mental wards or prisons, whose philosophy Foucault portrays: "project the subtle segmentations of discipline onto the confused space of internment, combine it with the methods of analytical distribution proper to power, [and] individualize the excluded . . .” (199)

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Jane attempts to battle her mental disorder, however the standards and customs of that time and her problematic marriage, both contributed to her difficulty dealing with her mental crisis. Maybe, if her husband and specialist had set aside some effort to really hear her out rather than making presumptions, she may have had a chance to combat the insanity that at long last overpowered her.

Works Cited

  • Bak, John S. "Escaping the Jaundiced Eye: Foucauldian Panopticism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's `The Yellow Wallpaper" Studies in Short Fiction 31.1 (1994): 39. MasterFILE Elite. Web. 10 Sept. 2019.
  • Johnson, Greg. "Gilman's Gothic Allegory: Rage and Redemption in "The Yellow Wallpaper." Studies in Short Fiction 26.4 (1989): 521-530. MasterFILE Elite. Web. 10 Sept. 2019.
  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The Norton Introduction to Literature.11th ed. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. New York: Norton, 2013. 655-66. Print.


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