The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper is a story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that gives the account of a woman who is suffering from depression after delivering a baby. Her husband, who is a doctor, prescribes the rest cure after misdiagnosing her with hysteria. She becomes bored since she is trapped in bed. Charlotte sees nobody except her husband and nurse, and her condition becomes worse. She starts to perceive and visualize things that are non-existing; being specific, she sees a woman inside yellow wallpaper in her room. According to her, the woman is trying to break away. The woman eventually tears the wallpaper with the aim of freeing the woman. At the end, she is taken home by her husband who faints on realizing that her wife has gone mad. The current paper is a systematic review of The Yellow Wallpaper as narrated by the author.

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At the beginning of the journal, the narrator marvels at the grandeur of the house and the grounds that they have come to spend their summer holiday at. The place is described as romantic similarly to an aristocratic estate or a haunted house. Charlotte wonders how they were able to afford to afford the house as well as why it had remained empty for a long time. The narrator feels something strange and begins discussing her illness. The narrator has marriage problems and is ailing from nervous depression. She believes that her husband is not taking her sickness and thoughts seriously as her concerns are disregarded by him. Her treatment requirement is that she should not engage in active work. As a result, she is forbidden from writing and working. The rest therapy fails to reflect her desire since she believes that freedom and interesting work can be useful in her recovery. She starts to write her secret journal with the aim of relieving her mind (Gilman 648-649).

The narrator begins to describe the house in an attempt to have a secret journal. She gives positive description except for elements such as rings and things found in the walls of the bedroom and the bars on the window. These elements are irritating and keep showing up. The strange and formless pattern of the yellow wallpaper disturbs the narrator, and she describes it as revolting. John’s approach interrupts her thoughts, and she has to stop writing (650)

The journal becomes a good hiding ground for the narrator during the first few weeks of the summer vacation as it assists in hiding her thoughts from John. The narrator longs to engage in an exciting and stimulating activity and desires a good company, but the patronizing and controlling nature of her husband denies her all the pleasure. John fears that she may become fixated on the wallpaper, and refuses to repaper the room since doing so is likely to cause her neurotic worry. Despite being kept in isolation, the imagination of the narrator is aroused, and she sees people on the walkway around the house. John discourages her from entertaining such kind of fantasies. The narrator recounted on her childhood moments when she used to imagine things in the dark (651-653).

The narrator becomes obsessed with the wallpaper. She is secretive and possessive and hides her interest in the wallpaper by ensuring that no one is examining it so that she can explore it herself. Her strange imagination startles Jennie, the lady in charge of housekeeping. John mistakes the narrator fixation to tranquillity for improvement. Unfortunately, the narrator is not improving but becomes more and more attached to the wild imagination of the wallpaper. She sleeps less and spends most of the time watching and perceiving non-existent things on the wallpaper. The narrator believes that she can smell the paper all over the house, and even on the surrounding of the house. She concludes that someone had been crawling against the wall after discovering a strange smudge mark on the paper (6540).

When the narrator starts to see a sub-pattern on the wallpaper, she concludes that it is a woman trying to free herself from the main pattern. According to the narrator, the woman creeps around during the day by escaping briefly. She also asserts that she also creeps around at times. The narrator becomes uneasy when she contemplates that John and Jennie could be aware of her obsession with the wallpaper. Therefore, she decides to destroy the paper by peeling it off at night. She bites and tears the paper with the aim of seeing the trapped woman.

As the journal approaches towards the end, the narrator is hopeless and insane. She sees many women creeping around. She considers herself to be the woman who has been trapped in the wallpaper. She believes that she has escaped from the wallpaper. She smudges the wallpaper as she creeps around the room. John becomes horrified upon breaking into the room and seeing the horrible things his wife has done. The shock makes John faint in the doorway, and the narrator creeps over him over and over again (656).


Works Cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. 2017.