Essay Example on The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins








Imprisoned in a mental bright yellow room of her own husband's scheme the protagonist of the short story The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman brought the attention of how women used to be seen and treated back in the 1800s Stereotypes of how women should be the ones expected to house clean raise children takes care of the husband and do as they are told The theme of the story is made clear through the characterization of John the protagonist s husband who is blinded by his dominated male ego that leads him to unintentionally imprisoning his own wife in a room driving her to Sevier depression no freedom of thought with a controlled environment John the narrator s husband as the dominant partner he controls and determined all his wife s decisions making because he viewed her as an incapable as childlike begin He treats her as an inferior as proven here John laughs at me of course but one expects that in marriage John dismissed his wives complains about her mental illness and rather laughed it off in a very cruel way driving her to madness

The narrator wants to be saved and understood that she is ill but John ironically enough is a physician who keeps ignoring his wife s illness and not only that but is also is failing as husband who is meant to look after his wife He laughs at me so about this wallpaper 515 he constantly puts her down and it increases her insecurities making the matter worst When John laughs at the yellow wallpaper that to his wife symbolizes her depression it is making a statement that it s a joke and it does not exist The irony of the situation is that the room is part of the problem he simply boxed her in there to miraculously get healed Throughout time in the room she notices the wallpaper a smoldering unclean yellow strangely faded by the slow turning sunlight 514 After a couple of days she notices the wallpaper is starting to change She sees a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern 518 The yellow wallpaper had a secret that only the narrator could see Throughout the story she gets obsessed with the wallpaper to a point she doesn t want anybody to come in and disturb her from finding out the secret She later then starts to believe that there is a woman trapped behind bars in the wallpaper So she and the women in the wallpaper rip the wallpaper off the wall so the women can escape 

This symbolizes the narrator longing to escape her delusional husband and all the hurt he is caused her by isolating her in that yellow dull room In the end she escapes I ve got out at last and I despite you and Jane I ve pulled off most of the paper so you cannot put me back At last the narrator takes control of her own thoughts and John s role as a strong protective husband is destroyed and he becomes weak and much like how a woman is meant to act himself now why should that man have fainted 17 Seeing his wife in a state of madness and total loss of self control Finally accepting his wife s illness the narrator reversed his role John being shocked showed his emotion which is supposedly not very manly and finally coming to realize that he was wrong With most the story taking place in the room that brings nothing but insanity to the female protagonist It is made clear that the feminist point of view is made through the narrator s surroundings 

Her environment of the room is almost prison like she felt repressed by the bars and gates John refuses to change her environment he wishes to keep her imprisoned But the most obvious use of setting to emphasize feminist views comes from the wallpaper itself At night in any kind of light in twilight candlelight lamplight and worst of all by moonlight it becomes bars 10 The wallpaper itself represents the psychological barriers put on by society and her husband and seen as a helpless weak linked woman she could not stand for herself As an escape mechanism she devotes her entire willpower and thoughts to rip the wallpaper as she becomes closer to freedom In conclusion the yellow wallpaper is used to express the author s feminist view demonstrating the physical and mental hardships that faced by women The ideas that are expressed through John s action and the setting of the story represented the barriers and constraints society puts on women It showed that mental illness should be taken seriously and that women s voices should be given an equal opportunity to be heard

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