The Yellow Wallpaper
It is hard when checking out The Yellow Wallpaper to separate the author’s position, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her previous not successful psychiatric medical treatment, from the primary character’s position: a lady suffering from a “nervous condition.” The main character, who at most times takes the role of narrator, seems to have a sort of abhoring attitude toward her hubby, a physician by the name of John who has limited her from her work: composing.
She explains his useful mindset toward superstitious notion and faith in a degrading manner, utilizing language such as “scary of superstitious notion” and “scoffs honestly at any talk of things not to be seen” (597 ). Gilman directly planned readers to comprehend the main character’s inner, truthful thoughts on John’s convictions, along with the author’s individual ideas on the typically assist mindset of doctors.
Further, Gilman wanted us to understand how this believe was destructive and poisonous with the following intriguant, “John is a doctor, and possibly– (I would not say it to a human being, of course, but this dead paper and a fantastic relief to my mind)– per haps that is one factor I do not recover much faster” (597 ). This is, maybe, the most revealing proof for a self-portrayal of the author in the primary character and, more significantly, the character’s circumstance. So much so, in fact, that Gilman is foreshadowing the worsening of the main character’s symptoms using the expression “… one factor I do not get well much faster” clearly and successfully.
Sure enough, as readers learn in the climactic ending scene, the main character crosses over into insanity. Here, she speaks of her refusal to go outside, “For outside you have to creep on the ground, and everything is green instead of yellow” (608 ). Now, compare it with a moment from earlier in the story, “The color [of the wallpaper] is repellant, practically revolting; a smouldering dirty yellow … I ought to hate it myself if I had to reside in this room long” (599 ).
The character’s psychological status clearly has undergone a complete turn-around: when a desire to be free and enjoy the garden, now a worry of the outdoors social interaction. As shown, The Yellow Wallpaper was an intentional exaggeration showing to the public and the author’s personal doctor that isolation and rejection of self-expression in times of psychological weakness or “anxiousness” is an extreme mistreatment to the highest degree.