The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

“The Yellow Wallpaper” For quite a very long time before the previous century, the female gender had been a race defined by limited opportunity and the prevalent belief of inferiority to the male gender. It was not till the women’s rights motion removed in the 1920’s that women began to delight in having the exact same chances as guys and playing an active role in society. Prior to that time, ladies were perceived as being inferior to their male counterparts and got less regard than males. This led to destructive impacts on the female mind, consisting of debasement of character and even disastrous mental disorder.

Countless tails of trouble composed by the ladies of that terribly oppressed time period communicate the seclusion, humiliation, and pain experienced by the females of that time. The short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, serves as an excellent example of such a piece of literature. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” shows subordinate standing of the female function in the 19th century and how such social conditions can have a terrible results effect on the human mind. (Wilson) The Yellow Wallpaper” wonderfully represents the secondary standing of females in marriage in the 19th century. (Ardoin) When the protagonist starts to deteriorate psychologically after giving birth to her child, her physician hubby orders her to rest in bed and refrain from writing. The protagonist describes her other half John’s antidote for her ailing health: “I take phosphates or phosphites– whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am definitely prohibited to “work” till I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their concepts.

Personally, I think that congenial work, with enjoyment and change, would do me good. But what is one to do? I did write for a while in spite of them; however it does tire me a good deal– having to be so sly about it, otherwise consult with heavy opposition. I often elegant that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus– however John says the extremely worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I admit it always makes me feel bad.” (Gilman) John’s treatment of the protagonist highlights how he saw her as more of a kid than a partner.

This is also illustrated in John’s referring to the protagonist as “blessed little goose” and “little lady”. (Gilman) The interaction in between the lead character and her partner John showed how females in the 19th century were deemed frail, weak, and inferior. In addition, “The Yellow Wallpaper” conveys an even much deeper message in the lead character’s condition with “short-lived worried anxiety– a small hysterical tendency”, a mental illness medical diagnosis common for women of that period. Gilman) The protagonist’s fast mental deterioration most likely happened as an outcome of her hubby’s “treatment”. By locking her up in an uninspiring bedroom and prohibiting her from any activities, he thinks that he will treat her health problem by giving her mind a break when in reality he is accelerating her down spiral into insanity. The confines of the room and the absence of stimuli drive the protagonist to the point of madness. The lead character’s tortured mind is shown through the interaction between her and the yellow wallpaper on the walls of her bed room.

Her altering interpretations of what the wallpaper holds within it permit the reader to clearly see the disconcerting modifications occurring within the protagonist’s mind. Initially, she merely sees the paper as revolting and unpleasing to the eye. Later on, nevertheless, her state of insanity is shown by the truth that she believes that there are individuals living in the wallpaper and proceeds to tear the paper off of the walls to free them. The lead character’s psychological decrease serves to illustrate the results of the aforementioned inferior treatment of ladies by their male counterparts.

As one critic argues, “‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ [is] a story of female confinement and escape.” (Korb) The element of confinement is highlighted in the lead character’s hubby preventing her from revealing herself in a healthy style. The escape occurs when the lead character looses her sanity and is decreased to a psychotic wreck as an outcome of her husband’s treatment. In the 19th century, the female gender faced minimal opportunity and the extensive belief of inability to the male gender.

Women were deemed being frail, weak, and in constant need of a male to help her do even the most basic tasks. This led to terrible effects on the female mind, consisting of debasement of character and even devastating mental illness. Literature written by the females of the aforementioned time period communicates the seclusion, embarrassment, and misery experienced by the females of that time. The narrative, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, acts as an excellent example of such a piece of literature.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s narrative “The Yellow Wallpaper” illustrates secondary standing of the female function in the 19th century and how such social conditions can have a terrible effects effect on the human mind. (Wilson) Works Mentioned – Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” (Original Work). 1892 – Wilson, Kathleen. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Brief Stories for Trainees. Pages 277-283. 1997. – Korb, Rena. “Criticism on ‘The Yellow Wallpaper. ‘” Brief Stories for Trainees. Pages 284-287. 1997. – Ardoin, Adrien. “SparkNote on ‘The Yellow Wallpaper. ‘” Online. 26 May. 2008 <
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