The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlette Perkins Gilman

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Charlette Perkins Gilman writes “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a critique of the way things worked among the genders and the ways in which the lives of women in the Victorian era were limited. A woman’s role was limited to the house and domestic work, women lacked the opportunities that could lead to personal growth. Gilman uses the imagery in the story to reflect not only what is going on inside the narrators’ head but the truth of the how the expectations of a typical domestic life could drive any woman crazy. The perspective of the story is very important as it sets the scene and the insight into the mindset of a woman going mad. Gilman could have written from a third person and had the reader discover the characters insanity from the a more …show more content…
The narrator is being given the rest cure as a treatment for her nerves, she is not allowed many things including any physical actives, which includes writing. This leaves her to only be able to concentrate on the details of her surroundings, most notably the wallpaper. The wallpaper, in the beginning of the story, is described as "flamboyant" and "the color revolting," (793). This is presented as a passing detail of the arrival at the house which they are staying, her thorough description of the wallpaper is used to show the reader that she has a quick eye for details. The narrator always gives more details every time she is alone in the room with the yellow wallpaper. The descriptions of the wallpaper changes throughout the story as the narrator looks for a pattern as she, “follow that pattern about by the hour…I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless pattern to some sort of a conclusion,” (Gilman 796). This is the start of her mental decay as she grows accustomed to the yellow wallpaper and by looking for a pattern this tells the reader more about the current psyche of the narrator, as she starts to see more in the wallpaper itself until she has convinced herself that there is a woman inside the wallpaper stooping behind bars, “And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit,” (Gilman 797). Gilman uses the woman in the wallpaper as a metaphor for the narrator’s current existence and the current life that women in society generally held. The narrator eventual does come to a mental break as she has convinced herself that she has come from the wallpaper, “’I’ve got out at last’ said I, ‘in spite of you and Jane! And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!’” (Gilman 803). At this point the narrator has forgotten who she is and who John is to her, Gilman used this complete break to bring to

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