Analysis Of Gilman 's ' The Yellow Wallpaper '

1203 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 null Page
There is much debate over what Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is about. Some argue that this short story is about a woman driven to insanity brought on by depression and maltreatment. Throughout this piece the hallucinogenic protagonist is confined to a room in which she is not permitted to partake in her pastime of writing and eventually becomes insane. However, the other side of this debate argues that the story is about a woman suffering from an identity crisis. Although the protagonist is a mother and a wife, she is forced to take on the role as a child. Furthermore, she struggles with suppressing her passion for writing, which in essence is who she truly is, an artist. After exploring these different aspects of the narrorator’s life, it will be evident that Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is fundamentally about identity.
The first aspect of the protagonist’s life to analyze is her shortcomings in relation to her place in society. During the time period this story takes place, women were expected to take on the classical housewife and nurturing mother roles. If not, they were generally looked down upon because they were not considered to be productive members of society. While the narrator did have a baby for her husband, she was not the primary caregiver for their son. Mary was hired to take care of the baby instead, thus relieving the protagonist from her maternal obligations. Her daily housewife work was taken care of by her sister-in-law Jennie. Jennie cooked and…

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