Mental Depression In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Gilman

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She may be diagnosed with slight hysteria, and nervous depression, but her diagnosis is exactly what creates the best narrator for Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The unreliable first person point of view is told through journal entries of a slightly hysterical woman undergoing treatment. She is both the protagonist, and the narrator. Thus allowing the woman to share her view of events, as well as sharing her thoughts throughout the story. Charlotte Gilman chose unreliable first person point of view for the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” because it is the best choice to truly explain what the protagonist saw and felt. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a collection of journal entries written from a hysteric woman whose treatment includes being …show more content…
The narrator's unreliability is exactly what her story needs to keep the reader in suspense. The unreliable first person point of view in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is the best choice because it keeps the reader questioning if the narrator is really experiencing these events or if it is just a result of her mental illness. “The unreliable narrator emphasizes the philosophical view that there is no such thing as a single, static, knowable reality“ (Gotham Writers 85). Giving the reader a sense of two different realities; the one being narrated, and the untold truth. Hence, “adding an unsettling effect to the story” (Gotham Writers 85). In the unreliable first person point of view, the reader is able to hear an explanation from a mentally unstable narrator which adds depth to their actions. The narrator, who happens to also be the protagonist is only telling what they believe to have saw and felt. Consequently, the reader is left wondering if the narrator’s view of events is distorted because of the narrator’s mental status or if the events truly happened. As a result, the overall mood is set for the story. The unreliable first person point of view sets the mood of the story, just as it leaves the reader in …show more content…
The husband would most likely explain the protagonist’s actions as a result from her mental status instead of admitting the cause was his treatment plan. She explains “John is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures” (Gilman 1). Meaning she will most likely not be talking to John about her beliefs about the wallpaper, leaving John clueless. Consequently, the reader would also be clueless if John was the narrator. Choosing John as a narrator would change the plot of the story completely. With all of these points in mind, the unreliable first person point of view is the best choice for “The Yellow Wallpaper” because it is able to get inside the mind of the protagonist, fully exposing her thoughts, and explaining her actions.
Although, she is slightly hysteric and locked up for treatment, the protagonist is still able to get her thoughts out using her journal entries. She becomes more hysteric as she stays in the room, making her less reliable as the story goes on. The narrator’s unreliability adds to the general mood of the story and creates suspense for the reader. Ultimately, the unreliable first person was the best chosen point

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