‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story that was written in the 19th century by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The author’s work was published in New England Magazine in 1892 and brought an out roar from the public. This was because most of the people who read the story saw it to be a work of fiction and the story was classified as gothic genre till the late 1960s.
The story talks about the narrator and her husband John. The narrator falls sick and John her husband being a doctor advises that she should have bed rest as treatment. The couple has gone for summer vacation and they are renting out a big house for their summer. John dictates that he and his wife (the narrator) should have a separate room in the top floor of the house. John always wins his arguments since ‘he is the doctor’. The narrator even nicknames him Mr. “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor” (Mukhtar 33). The narrator does not want the big room but wants a smaller room that is much prettier but her husband is against it. He forbids her from doing everything she loved like writing and just rest. The room they move to in the old ancestral house spooks the narrator. The wallpaper in the room is also spooky. John controls all her activities. She decides to sneak out when the husband is not around and do some writing but always has to hide the paper she is writing on when the husband comes. Time passes and the narrator becomes fond of the room but the wallpaper still spooks her. She claims in her story that the wallpaper seems to have eyes that are always blinking at her.
Every member of the family too supports John that she should have bed rest. The narrator continues to observe the wallpaper and in the moonlight she could see the figure of a woman trapped in it trying to free herself. She tells her husband they need to move but he refuses (“Non-Feminist Reading of “The Yellow Wallpaper” 29). As she continues to study the wallpaper she realizes it has a smell and describes it as a ‘yellow smell’. She starts ripping the wallpaper off and when her husband enters and finds her creeping and declaring she is now free, he faints.
Some of the literary and linguistic devices used in this masterpiece include; Anaphora- This involves the repetition of words that begin a sentence of phrases of successive clauses. It produces an emotional effect that shows the reader the emotional state the writer was in. Example is that the narrator uses I don’t know a lot in the story “…I don’t know why I should write this. I don’t want to. I don’t feel able…”
The story shows that the female gender should be treated better and be allowed to help in development of the society. The author warns that if women are held back from perusing their passion it will only end up making them go crazy other than making them better mothers or wives. The story speaks a lot to our society today and it has brought about revolution in feminism since its publication
Hi Nirali,I’d like to give you the opportunity to rewrite this paper, as it does not quite meet the assignment goals and criteria. What you need to do is:
Craft a thesis statement to be placed at the end of your introduction, which clarifies what you are arguing about the story. You can choose one of the themes you list on page 3, if you’d like—in other words, you can make an argument about what you think Gilman is saying about class or gender or madness, but since you have only 4 pages to work with, you’d want to choose one theme and closely analyze it.
Choose the literary devices that help reveal the theme and message you’ve chosen. In each paragraph, provide an analysis of an example of one of those devices (symbolism, imagery, etc.) and explain how it helps you arrive at your interpretation
If you want to include outside sources in this paper (which is not required), you do need to clarify what you are drawing from those sources. Often, you cite a source after just offering a general statement or a piece of summary; you want to save quotes from outside sources for moments when you want to quote someone else’s argument or interpretation
Hamilton, Carole L. “The Collegial Classroom: Teaching Threshold Concepts through Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”.” CEA Critic, vol. 77, no. 2, 2015, pp. 211-222.
“How Turn of the Century Feminism Finds Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”.” Feminist Moments : Reading Feminist Texts,
Mukhtar, O. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” BMJ, vol. 342, no. jan26 1, 2011, pp. d428-d428.
“A Non-Feminist Reading of “The Yellow Wallpaper.”International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), vol. 4, no. 12, 2015, pp. 233-237.
Rich, Charlotte. ““The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Dual Text Critical Edition (review).” American Literary Realism, vol. 42, no. 2, 2010, pp. 176-178.