The Yellow Wallpaper
“The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is gothic psychological short story composed in journal-style with first-person narrative. Other aspects used in the story are symbols, irony, foreshadowing, and imagery. “The Yellow Wallpaper has to do with a lady who experiences postpartum depression. Her husband, a physician, puts her on “rest remedy of peaceful and solitude.” (Wilson 278). This remedy included the storyteller being restricted to rest in one space and forbidden to do any manual labor, read, write, or have any other kind of psychological stimulation.
She secretly kept a journal to write in. The wallpaper in the room irritated the narrator to the point of her asking her partner to replace it. The wallpaper soon ends up being a distraction. Recommendations to the yellow wallpaper become more frequent and keep developing through the course of the story as the storyteller gives way to madness. Gilman utilizes a number of gothic aspects including horror, dread, suspense, and the supernatural. Explaining the women, the space, and the sinister shapes, “Gilman techniques the reader into seeing Jane as simultaneously mad and in the grips of some haunting supernatural spectors. (Might 4724). The advancement of the story may imply possession as much as it does hallucination. The house that is “rather alone, standing well back from the road, rather 3 miles from the village” (Gilman 473) provides the reader a sense of seclusion producing a dreadful tone which is common in gothic works. The yellow color of the wallpaper likewise carries some gothic elements, depicting something stagnant, old, and rotted. The yellow is referred to as a “smoldering dirty yellow.” (Gilman 474).
In addition to the color of the paper, the space the narrator is kept in seems to give the feeling of being a haunted area, although the haunting might come from the storyteller herself. The story is a terrific example of first-person story since it is informed solely from the viewpoint of the unnamed leading character and the reader is admitted only to her ideas and sensations allowing the reader to comprehend and experience the narrator’s sensations as she starts her path to insanity.
Given that the storyteller is having a psychological breakdown, she would be thought about an unreliable narrator due to the fact that the reader can not be positive if she is correctly reciting the incidents of the story. First-person narrative likewise enables the readers to have compassion with her. For example when she was informed she could not go visit her cousin she stated, “I did not construct out a very good case for myself, for I was crying before I had actually finished.” (Gilman 477). Offering the reader a sense of pity for the storyteller.
The reader exists in the storyteller’s head at every phase of her madness, making the story more powerful and shocking. One of the more significant symbols used in the story is the yellow wallpaper. The wallpaper depicts the state of mind of the narrator. Although the narrator offers a detailed description of the wallpaper, it still remains mystical throughout the story. The narrator’s unhealthy fascination with the yellow wallpaper is “the very first idea of her degenerating peace of mind.” (Hudock 3). At first the ripped, stained, and unclean color appear offensive.
The wallpaper seems to be letting go a “yellow smell” (Gilman 480) all through your home, even entering into her hair, symbolizing how the wallpaper is contaminating the storytellers mind. After the narrator gazes at it for hours, she sees a ghostly sub-pattern, only noticeable in specific light. As the sub-pattern comes into focus there appears to be a desperate lady crawling and stooping trying to find a way out from behind the bars of the main pattern that resembles a cage. Eventually it becomes clear that the figure crawling through the wallpaper is both the storyteller and the narrator’s double.
The storyteller sees heads of ladies being strangled as they attempt to escape out of the cage. The desperate female that is trapped represents the narrator’s “emotional and intellectual confinement.” (Wilson 280). With no method of revealing her feelings and no chance of escape, the storyteller controls her dissatisfaction and her rage eventually paving the way to madness. The nursery, another crucial sign, was embellished with “rings and things. “(Gilman 474). This was the room she was restricted in. This space was perhaps utilized to represent the method nineteenth-century people viewed females, as children.
The nursery included disallowed windows which could be deemed the psychological, social, and intellectual jail females of that age were kept in. “During the night the pattern in the paper ends up being plainly bars, like the bars on the windows, and the lady in the wallpaper becomes clearly visible, imprisoned behind the bars in the evening, just as the girl imagining her feels imprisoned.” (Kivo 51). Verbal paradox is utilized in the journal particularly when the narrator mentions her other half. She states, “John laughs at me, of course, however one expects that. (Gilman 473). Nobody in a healthy marriage would anticipate that. Later on she states, “I am happy my case is not serious,” (Gillman 474) at a point where she is certainly concerned that it is very major. Significant irony is used when the narrator assumed Jennie shared her interest in the wallpaper, “I caught Jennie with her hand on it when,” (Gilman 480) when it was clear that Jennie was searching for the source of the yellow stains that were getting on their clothing. Jennie said “the paper stained everything it touched. (Gilman 480). Situational paradox occurred when John’s course of treatment did the opposite, causing his spouse’s condition to get worse, driving her to go outrageous. “I don’t want to go out, and I do not want to have any person come in, till John comes.” (Gilman 482). The location of your home, which was 3 miles far from the closest town, foreshadows seclusion and despair. Another foreshadow that Gilman used was the wear and tear of the narrator’s signs, utilizing the expression, “one factor I do not recover faster.” (Gilman 473).
The discovery of teeth marks on the bed post foreshadows the storyteller’s insanity and is not revealing everything about her behavior. The weird mark around the bottom of the wall foreshadows an action the narrator will take at the end of the story. Using the word “scary,” (Gilman 478) foreshadows the increasing desperation of the storyteller’s situation and her own eventual “creeping.” (Gilman 483). Strong imagery is used to set a strong story setting. Imagery that is utilized throughout the story foreshadows the inevitable insanity of the narrator. The location of your home images recommends a lack of liberty and isolation.
The description of the nursery in the narrator’s mind portrays the space more like a prison and a method to separate her from individuals. Ultimately the odor of the wallpaper ends up being more popular. The smell, according to the storyteller “sneaks all over your house … a strange smell … it is okay … very gentle … a yellow odor.” (Gilman 480). The olfactory images affects the reader by making the reader question currently known smells. Images in this story takes the reader along for the sluggish decent into insanity. The imagery of your house area and the nursery indicate desperation and isolation.
In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman using a number of aspects such as gothic, first-person story, signs, irony, foreshadowing, and images takes the reader into the story through the storyteller’s mind. Experiencing firsthand what the narrator is experiencing in her mind; following the numerous phases of madness the storyteller withstands prior to finally reaching insanity. The components provide the story a suspenseful, mysterious, direct experience leaving the reader questioning what will take place next. Works Cited Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper.” Literature An Intro to Fiction, Poetry, and Writing. Kennedy, X. J., Gioia, Dana. New York City: Longman, 12 Ed. 2013. Hudock, Amy. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Masterplots II: Women’s Literature Series. Salem Press, 1995. Kivo, Carol. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The Harcourt Brace Casebook Series in Literature. Harcourt, 1998. May, Charles. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Masterplots 11: Short Story Series. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Pasadena: Salem, 1986. Wilson, Kathleen. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Short Stories for Trainees. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 1.