The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Perkins

1239 Words Mar 19th, 2016 null Page
Written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, “The Yellow Wall-paper” is an important piece in the naturalist movement, illustrating the difficulty of being a mentally ill woman in the late 19th and early 20th century. The novella portrays a young woman suffering from postpartum depression who is slowly loosing her sanity. As was custom at the time, the narrator was confined to a room to rest and essentially wait out her depression. Even though this method was highly ineffective, the women it was being used on had no say in the matter because they were deemed mentally ill. This piece was written to illustrate how detrimental this form of treatment was to those who had to suffer through it. In order to do so, Gillman chose to symbolically express the devastating effects that confinement had on the women’s mental state, through contrast of the physical deterioration of the wall-paper and the metaphorical deterioration of the main characters mind. When the narrative begins, the woman has just moved into the house, and while she does have some prevalent mental health issues, she has not altogether lost control of her sanity. The wall-paper in this story serves as a visualization of her mental state, and as her sanity is slowly ripped away, so is the paper. In her first writing, she describes the color of the paper as ‘unclean’ and ‘sickly’, both words that were commonly used to describe mentally ill patients at the time. As the narrative continues, the woman starts to see a…

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