The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

753 Words 4 Pages
Realism in literature refers to the depiction of events or ideas using pragmatic rules, and presenting those events or ideas in a realistic nature without embellishment or exaggeration. This style of literature was prominent in much of Europe and the United States during the 19th century. In this essay I will argue that American author Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses elements of realism in her semi-autobiographical short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” to shed light on the issue of women oppression during the late 19th century, thus becoming a paramount piece of American literature.
The influence of 19th Century realism and the truthful representation of American life are evident in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” While
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All the while her husband, unbeknownst to him, is attributing to her ever developing delusions by keeping her secluded from the outside world in a room which the narrator expresses discontent for time and time again.
At the beginning of the story, the narrator seems very lucid as she illustrates to readers the majestic summer home she is vacationing in while recovering from her “illness.” She is seemingly content with her environment aside from the wallpaper in the room she is residing in:

This quote is important because it establishes the narrator’s repugnance, and eventual obsession towards the wallpaper.
Throughout the entire story the narrator is seemingly becoming more and more delusional. This effect is heightened by the expressed anxiety of the narrator as she is forbidden to write by her husband, and is supervised during the day by her sister-in-law. She however, continues to make entries sporadically in secret:

This quote is the meaningful because it exemplifies the secretive measures taken by the narrator in order to continue writing in discreet, despite having been forbid to do so by her husband. It also further illustrates the narrator’s beginning obsession with the mysterious yellow wallpaper. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s realistic portrayal of the narrator’s reserved writing furthers the stories plausibility, and helps to propagate its association with realism. By focusing on the characters instead of the plot, we as readers are

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