As you read this story, consider the role that narration plays in the development of the plot and the theme. Other important questions include: Why is it important that the woman narrator have the agency and the voice to tell her own story? What effects does this particular choice of narration have on establishing a connection with the reader and eliciting certain emotional responses.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman circa Gilman used her writing to explore the role of women in America during the late s and early s. She highlighted many issues such as the lack of a life outside the home and the oppressive forces of the patriarchal society.
While under the impression that husbands and male doctors were acting with their best interests in mind, women were depicted as mentally weak and fragile. Women were even discouraged from writing, because it would ultimately create an identity and become a form of defiance.
Gilman realized that writing became one of the only forms of existence for women at a time when they had very few rights. Weir Mitchelland convince him of the error of his ways". She was forbidden to touch pen, pencil, or brush, and was allowed only two hours of mental stimulation a day.
After three months and almost desperate, Gilman decided to contravene her diagnosis, along with the treatment methods, and started to work again. Aware of how close she had come to complete mental breakdown, the author wrote The Yellow Wallpaper with additions and exaggerations to illustrate her own criticism for the medical field.
Gilman sent a copy to Mitchell but never received a response. She added that The Yellow Wallpaper was "not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked". Gilman claimed that many years later she learned that Mitchell had changed his treatment methods, but literary historian Julie Bates Dock has discredited this.
Mitchell continued his methods, and as late as — 16 years after "The Yellow Wallpaper" was published — was interested in creating entire hospitals devoted to the "rest cure" so that his treatments would be more widely accessible.
Her ideas, though, are dismissed immediately while using language that stereotypes her as irrational and, therefore, unqualified to offer ideas about her own condition. This interpretation draws on the concept of the " domestic sphere " that women were held in during this period.
Although some claim the narrator slipped into insanity, others see the ending as a woman's assertion of agency in a marriage in which she felt trapped. If the narrator were allowed neither to write in her journal nor to read, she would begin to "read" the wallpaper until she found the escape she was looking for.
Through seeing the women in the wallpaper, the narrator realizes that she could not live her life locked up behind bars. At the end of the story, as her husband lies on the floor unconscious, she crawls over him, symbolically rising over him.
This is interpreted as a victory over her husband, at the expense of her sanity. Lanser, a professor at Brandeis University, praises contemporary feminism and its role in changing the study and the interpretation of literature.
Critics such as the editor of the Atlantic Monthly rejected the short story because "[he] could not forgive [himself] if [he] made others as miserable as [he] made [himself]. Lanser argues that the short story was a "particularly congenial medium for such a re-vision. At first she focuses on contradictory style of the wallpaper: She takes into account the patterns and tries to geometrically organize them, but she is further confused.
The wallpaper changes colors when it reflects light and emits a distinct odor which the protagonist cannot recognize p.
At night the narrator is able to see a woman behind bars within the complex design of the wallpaper. Lanser argues that the unnamed woman was able to find "a space of text on which she can locate whatever self-projection".
Feminists have made a great contribution to the study of literature but, according to Lanser, are falling short because if "we acknowledge the participation of women writers and readers in dominant patterns of thought and social practice then perhaps our own patterns must also be deconstructed if we are to recover meanings still hidden or overlooked.
Cutter discusses how in many of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's works she addresses this "struggle in which a male-dominated medical establishment attempts to silence women.
In this time period it was thought that "hysteria" a disease stereotypically more common in women was a result of too much education.
It was understood that women who spent time in college or studying were over-stimulating their brains and consequently leading themselves into states of hysteria. In fact, many of the diseases recognized in women were seen as the result of a lack of self-control or self-rule.In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator suffers from depression following the birth of her child.
Her husband, John, diagnoses her behavior as “hysteria.” He prescribes her rest and leases. Modeled after Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a young wife and mother who has recently began to suffer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Although she does not believe that anything is wrong with her, John, her physician husband, diagnoses her with. Charlotte Perkins Gilman had no way of knowing that a story she wrote in would one day be regarded as a classic in feminist literature.
The gothic tale of “The Yellow Wallpaper” has become just that, although it took nearly a century to find a truly understanding audience. "The Yellow Wallpaper" (original title: "The Yellow Wall-paper. A Story") is a short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January in The New England Magazine.
It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, due to its illustration of the attitudes towards mental and physical health of women in the 19th century. A list of all the characters in The Yellow Wallpaper. The The Yellow Wallpaper characters covered include: The Narrator, John, Jennie.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is definitely the masterpiece of this collection. If that was the only story that Gilman ever wrote – it would be enough to guarantee her a place in literature's Hall of Fame.
|From the SparkNotes Blog||Inner Life Self-Expression, Miscommunication, and Misunderstanding Summary Analysis The narrator feels almost too weak to write, but she needs to express herself in some way to find relief. She has lost strength, and John administers a whole range of treatments.|
|The character of The Narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes||To achieve her goal of expressing feminist sentiment in The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman creates a narrator who is at once expressive about her feelings but is also prone to devaluing her own assessments.|
|Comparison of Themes in “A Rose for Emily" “The Yellow Wallpaper" and “Sweat"||Table of Contents Plot Overview The narrator begins her journal by marveling at the grandeur of the house and grounds her husband has taken for their summer vacation.|
|In "The Yellow Wallpaper," why does the narrator's husband laugh at her? | eNotes||Through this intimate medium the narrator describes her three-month stay in an estate. The first entry details the circumstances under which she and her husband have come to the estate.|
|SparkNotes: The Yellow Wallpaper: Plot Overview||Jeffrey and Lonette Stayton Awards for Writing Charlotte Perkins Gilman had no way of knowing that a story she wrote in would one day be regarded as a classic in feminist literature. Early readers were appreciative of the sheer horror of the tale, and, indeed, it still stands as a wonderful example of the genre.|