Reflection Paper On The Yellow Wallpaper

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“Women are crazy” is a conclusion most people can come to when they are experiencing problems in their lives. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” there is a woman who is diagnosed with nervous depression and sent into a room with directions to rest as much as possible and refrain from any mental stimulation. As the narrator is mentally enveloped in the design of this wallpaper, she begins to see a woman trapped behind it and tears down the paper to “free her,” while also seeing other women wander about the mansion. The story ends with her husband walking in on her while she is crawling around the edges of the room saying, “I’ve got out at last” (Gilman 319). After looking into the authors’ background, I saw that I may have …show more content…
If the story was written in third person or even from her husband’s view, I would have had a completely different takeaway. Gilman’s audience would have just seen a mentally ill woman crawling around on the floor ripping up wallpaper. Instead, the insight of the narrators mind made me feel for her and gave me understanding. Gilman’s imagery evoked very specific emotion and eventually I concluded it served a purpose to my overall response. For example, when the narrator describes the outside world or anything but the room she is in, words like “delicious garden!” and “air and sunshine galore” gave me such a feel-good response and beautiful pictures in my head (314). Soon after, when she is describing the room she stayed in, the atmosphere had a dramatic shift. Words like “repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow” were so vivid, and I felt trapped and even repulsed (314). These feelings could carry over to the symbolism of the room representing her trapped oppression and the outside being a place free of …show more content…
It is possible my upbringing had an influence on my reactions. For instance, while reading the story out loud to my mother, she had audible outrage at points where the husband seemed controlling, and I shared her same reaction. This made it easier to see the oppression of her husband, which in turn confirmed to me that the woman behind the imaginary bars was the narrator herself. I knew this was not only about the narrator but other women of her time was by the narrator’s statement, “It must be very humiliating to be caught creeping by daylight!” (318). This caused me to have deep sympathy not only towards the narrator, but now towards all women of her time. When she sees these creeping women going outside and doing all the wonderful things she had described, I cannot help but feel sad. In fact, I can see the narrators yearning manifested in her visions of the carefree women. By the end of the story, when I got over the shock of the last sentence, I felt celebratory for her. She declares, “I got out at last! –you can’t put me back!”, which may not be something a mentally sound person would say, but I could feel her happiness and in her mind she was freed and had escaped, which is satisfaction enough

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