The Yellow Wallpaper

by eluma
Last updated 9 days ago

Discipline:
Arts & Music
Subject:
Artist Biographies
Grade:
11

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The Yellow Wallpaper

This short story is about a woman who is suffering from postpartum depression. After having some difficulty adjusting to motherhood, the narrator's husband/doctor decides that the best solution is a resting cure. She is taken to their summer home and kept shut up in the bedroom. Throughout weeks of solitude, the narrators illness worsens. She becomes obsessed with the strange pattern of the yellow wallpaper. She begins hallucinating. Sh esees a women trapped in the wallpaper and tries to tear it off. The story ends with the narratoring going insane and crawling around the room like an animal. Her neglectful husband faints in horror.

Summary

The Yellow Wallpaperby: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Themes

1) The subordination of women in marriage-In this story, the narrator's illness gets worse becasue her husband imposes restrictions on her.2) the importance of self-expression-The narrator is unable to express herself because of her solitude. Over time her thoughts and emotions build, and she goes insane.3) the evils of the “Resting Cure”-This cure was a strategy frequently used in the 19th century to solve emotionally driven illnesses. However, it just resulted in a lot of pent-up issues and made things worse.

Main Character

The Narrator - A young, upper-middle-class woman, newly married and a mother, who is undergoing care for depression. The narrator—whose name may or may not be Jane—is highly imaginative and a natural storyteller, though her doctors believe she has a “slight hysterical tendency.” The story is told in the form of her secret diary, in which she records her thoughts as her obsession with the wallpaper grows

Time: Late nineteenth centuryPlace: America, in a large summer home (or possibly an old asylum), primarily in one bedroom within the house.

I would recommend this story because I believe it touches on a very interesting issue -mental health. I also enjoy Gilman's use of literary devices. They help to develop the narrator into a very complex and interesting character. It is an intriguing and quick read.

Recommendation

Setting

Link to the story!


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