Rhetorical Situation of The Yellow Wallpaper

The novel The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson reflects the life of the author who is placed in a room upstairs with barred windows which used to be a nursery. The circumstance that led John to put Charlotte in the nursery room is due to her mental condition. The author narrates her ordeal and suffering she endures in the room that seems to suffocate her. The author highlights that the children used to hate the room (Charlotte 648). In that regard, she also detests the room, especially because of the wallpaper which John refuses to change claiming that it is a way for Charlotte to give in to fancies which have led to the condition of nervousness she is experiencing. Therefore, based on the information portrayed in the reading about the author, it can be argued that the general tone is that of sympathy.

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The reader is compelled to sympathize with the author narration of how her life has been restricted to the extent that she cannot experience a normal life because of her psychological condition. Additionally, the audience/reader is compelled to imagine about the amount of restriction imposed upon Charlotte by John who does not let her life according to her wishes; hence, the suffering which can be equated to mental torture.

The exhibited tone in the reading invokes the feeling of remorse for the author as she narrates her ordeal. Indeed, living a life with so many restrictions cannot aid in quelling the mental nervousness she experiences. Instead, the restriction imposed upon Charlotte can only lead to more pain and suffering. Therefore, the tone of sympathy perfectly aligns with the feeling of empathy invoked in the mind of the reader.

In conclusion, it can be highlighted that the purpose of the author is to show that restrictions and denial of freedom create psychological pain equivalent to mental torture.


Work Cited

Charlotte, Stetson. “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d., https://www.nlm.nih.gov/theliteratureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf.