Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" in the midst of the 1800's to describe the troubles women had during the time, which occur today and the confinement, or restriction women were forced to face. The narrator has to "escape," or break away from the imprisonment of the complete male-dominated society.
The narrator has a "temporary depression," which her husband, who is a well-known doctor, claims. Gilman portrays the story to express her opinion of the outcomes she faces with her husband being the dominant one and the consequences of the norms of society. The repression of the narrator is shown when she tries constantly to tell her husband how she is really feeling, but he forever shuts her down, reassuring that all she needs is rest and prescriptions to be well again. "I believe congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good," she persists to tell him because she believes the treatment she is receiving is not working. (Gilman 1). This shows how she is not considered to know what is best for her own self.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
The narrator states her feelings many times, but does not act upon them because of her husband and she does not realize this is happening. She feels she can express herself in her writing. She does not have control or right to do what she thinks is best. She is shown to be the depiction of a typical woman when John states, "She is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession!" (Gilman 4). Perhaps the whole reason she is suffering from depression is the fact that she feels she cannot portray her feelings of being discriminated against neither through talking to her husband or writing because her husband feels that writing only worsens her condition. John tells her not to "neglect proper self-control." It was also considered wrong for women to openly express anger and hatred, so she always kept it to herself. When she found feelings of hatred toward John, she was forced to blame them on her sickness.
She is placed in a room in the large house her and her husband moved into, where there is a very open room, with dreaded-looking yellow wallpaper with "rings and things in the walls" (Gilman, 2) and barred windows. The furnishings of the room become a big sphere of the world that compresses her into the cell of her own mind, and the wallpaper represents the state of that mind. Moving into this room was beyond her control. Her husband believes being in this room will help cure her, but it is similar to a room.