Critical Analysis: Literary Analysis Of The Yellow Wallpaper

844 Words 4 Pages
Danielle Novy
Professor Herbers
English 105
17 October 2016
Literary Analysis : The Yellow Wallpaper
When does one realize that they are in an overpowering and unhealthy relationship? Is it when one’s own mental health is compromised? In The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman displays how oppressive domestic relationships lead to mental instability. In her husband’s eyes, the central character, Jane, does not fit the standards of the ideal woman. He does not allow her to express herself and he isolates her from the outside world in hopes of curing her mental instability. Rather than curing her, his restrictive commands and limitations lead her on a path of insanity. All in all “Domestic Oppression leads to mental instability”, and this is emphasized throughout the story using the literary elements of point-of-view, setting, and symbolism.

Using the first-person point-of-view Gilman allows the audience an inside look on Jane’s compromised state of mind, as well as what’s going on in reality. As the
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Using Jane as a symbol truly displays the oppressive relationships that women were encaged in. Even before Jane’s mental state began to decline, Jane lived and breathed for her husband. “He said I was his darling and his comfort and all he had, and that I must take care of myself for his sake, and keep well.” (Gilman 222) With Jane’s compromised state of mind and oppressive history, she sees no problem with John’s overpowering demeanor. “The complete falsity of these comments (all he had, this highly regarded physician?) and his admonition to get well for his sake combine to emphasize the role he exerts, or tries to exert, over her. Even though she is told to do these things because she is his, rather than because she is herself, at the next moment he abandons her.” (Linda Wagner-Martin 155) John’s overpowering demeanor belittles Jane as a person, a wife, a mother, and a woman.

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