Caged Insanity In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Caged Sanity Ray Bradbury once said that “Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in a cage” In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator’s trapped mind leads her into a spastic insanity. All in all, it is for the best for her mind and for the revealing truth of her mind’s captors. Her narrator’s choppy plot and decreased focus on subjects highlights her jumping mind, while the characterization of her family enhances the meaninglessness of her main character. The setting itself, specifically, the yellow wallpaper, is portrayed as an antagonist to the narrator’s protagonist mind. With a skillful display of these such elements, Charlotte Perkins Gilman portrays a woman’s slow, painful process of diminishing sanity, while indirectly …show more content…
She starts with a thought about what is going on in her life, but always ends up shifting her focus toward the yellow wallpaper. From the beginning of the story, the narrator, who remains nameless throughout her story, admits to being sick, even though others around her, like her husband, John, believe her to be in a state of “temporary nervous depression” (226). Her husband also is her doctor, who is trying to “cure” her of her depression. Ironically, he is also the one who is making her sick. The plot is advanced in the chronological progression of the narrator’s entries in her journals. Oftentimes, the plot changes because the narrator is prohibited from writing, due to her ‘condition’. Her husband forbids her to work or even write because it will only make her think of her depression. The narrator makes her entries every couple weeks or so, and always ties back to her intense focus on the yellow wallpaper that surrounds her room. This symbolizes her descent into madness and insanity. Each day that she goes without thinking, or having a creative outlet, her insanity is worsened. Therefore her focus on her room becomes all she has left to talk about. Her constant creative reticence, enforced by her husband, is a strong foreshadowing of her dying sanity. In the end, she finally ends up tearing the yellow wallpaper, being a symbol of her husband’s oppression, shocking her husband in the process. …show more content…
She describes every bit of the house, outside and inside, as beautiful, except for the yellow wallpaper that surrounds the room in which she sleeps in. This room gives one of the first moments of foreshadowing to her insanity. She guesses that is used to be a nursery, then a playroom and then a gymnasium, due to the fact that “the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls” (227). What she doesn’t realize is that this is the description of an insane asylum. The narrator does not like the room, but even more, she hates the yellow wallpaper. This room greatly advances the plot and the characterization of the story. The symbolism of the wallpaper in the room that distracts her thoughts are tangent to the symbolism of her husbands enforced “no work” policies because they are both factors in the making of her insane

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