The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1361 Words 6 Pages
Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote an amazing story in 1892 entitled “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The story is full of symbolism and was inspired by Gilman's own life struggles. This analysis of her work will cover some important parts of the author’s life, the characters, the setting of the story, and the plot. Throughout the analysis will be explanations of symbols and how the author tied her personal experiences into the story.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s work, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story that the author wrote to depict her own struggle with mental illness. In order to really appreciate this story, it may help to know about the author’s life. Born in 1860, she was the only child of Mary Finch Westcott and Frederick Beecher Perkins, a
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in Booth and Mays 639-640)

Gilbert rejected Dr. Mitchell’s advice and moved to California, separating from her husband (Merriman). She eventually went on to take her first cousin as her second husband, George Houghton Gilman. She died in 1935 by “an overdose of chloroform” (Merriman).

Now that a small understanding of the author has been established, it is time to introduce the characters. The story is told in a first-person narrative format from the point of view of John’s wife. The narrator suffers from what is described as “temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman 609). Upon delving deeper into the story, the reader learns that the main character has a young child. Gilman seems to have similarities to the narrator, as though this story is her way of showing the world how she felt while she was undergoing treatment for her own bout of postpartum depression. The narrator, under the care of her physician husband, is given the advice to rest and take in all the air she could get. The narrator tends to hide things, like her suffering and her writing from John. John, the narrator’s husband, is a physician and oversees the care of his wife. He is away most of the day, as well as some nights seeing patients in the nearby town. He seems to be very overbearing in his care of his wife. He recommended she rest and not

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