The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis As I started reading this short story, it clearly introduced who the characters are and where it took place. The narrator is a woman; she has no name, remains anonymous throughout the story. She lives with her husband John in a house. This house is isolated from society, since the short story indicates that it is far from village, roads or any means of communication. It also contains locks and gates throughout. The woman is ill and this illness has placed her in a weak position with her husband and everything around her.
We know that she likes to write, but her husband doesn’t let her, so she does it in secret. Although this type of writing is mainly to show mild personality disorder in dealing with life, at the same time I believe it shows how each person expresses their illness and how it builds up with certain outcome. Here the author shows how the woman expresses her illness through the circumstances of the yellow wallpaper such as dreaming and fantasying through the paper, which led to her breakdown. At first, the narrator describes the yellow wallpaper as ?
It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide–plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions .? It shows how the narrator dislikes the yellow wallpaper and she elaborates her feelings towards it. This quote explains a lot about how she feels, and also points out how suppressed and weak she is. When it said ? follow the lame uncertain curves? t refers to the husband that may lead the narrator to commit suicide because of the way she listens and obeys him. Although he seems to say the things that would make her better and assure her that she is getting better, he is not really letting her do what would make her better, which is what she wants. As a physician who recognizes and treats his wife’s condition, it would appear to be that he understands her best, but he does not seem to realize how severe her state is. Neither does he have an adequate way of treating it, like not letting her do what she wants like for instance writing.
I believe he underestimates the state of her mind, and he has a lot to do with the outcome of her condition. This leads to her obsession with the wallpaper. At first the narrator hated it, and then she got used to it. She started letting her imagination wander about this wallpaper, she saw in her mind’s eye people, scenes: ? there is a beautiful shaded lane that runs down there from the house. I always fancy I see people walking in these numerous paths and arbors, but John has cautioned me not to give way to fancy at least.?
By focusing on these fantasies or dreams, I believe it expresses her feelings and makes her more confident. Despite what John thinks about her fantasies, she continues to imagine things. He thinks she is getting better in spite of her speculations, she knows she is getting better because of these speculations, her illness has its own certain effect and it even develops. John warns her several times that she must use her self-control to rein in her imagination, which he fears will run away with her. Of course, the narrator’s eventual insanity is a product of the repression of her imaginative power, not the expression of it.
She is constantly longing for an emotional means, even going so far as to keep a secret journal, which she describes more than once as a “relief” to her mind. This illness progresses in a way that lets her see a woman in the wallpaper. She sees the same woman in different places and she thinks that the woman only gets out in daytime. She says, ? It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping along, and most women do not creep by daylight.? Lori Voth explains this part in a way that I totally agree with.
She says that the woman who for some time is hidden in the background of the paper symbolizes the main character’s fear of presenting herself and her opinion. I agree that it is a symbol of fear because the narrator is a reflection of the hidden woman behind the wallpaper, which relates much to her. She is hiding in this house away from society, scared to say what she feels or what she wants. In my opinion, I think that this is one of the things that led to her depression, if the narrator was able to express herself from the beginning and not let her husband or anyone control her, as a result she may be in a better condition.
Reaching the end, she doesn’t really care much about what anyone thinks. She starts showing certain actions that may confirm that she going insane, like peeling off all the paper, locking the door and throwing the key in the front path. On one hand it seems that she is gone insane, on the other hand, I think she is getting out of her cage, expressing what has been there all along may be in a certain way that only satisfies her.
In my own view as I discussed it before, each individual has a certain way of expressing their illness or more likely their feelings, and it comes with different ways of behaviour (outcome) depending on the person. This story takes the reader’s mind to different view of women. Women are usually known for being the quiet, sophisticated, and reasonable characters in society. This time the reader may be taken into the inner-most realms of women’s mind and experiences. The experience of the narrator in the ? The Yellow Wallpaper? hows that she is gone mad because her role in society is limited and her ability to express herself creatively is constricted. This inability for her to express herself in a meaningful way eventually leads her to associate herself with the woman in the wallpaper who looks to be, like the narrator, behind bars or in a cage. Some important feminine critics have seen the “The Yellow Wallpaper” not only an accurate representation of a situation of woman in a harsh culture but also a model for their own reading and writing practices (Davison 120).
The yellow wallpaper represents several ideas and conditions and every time I read it a new view captures my eyes. Work cited * Voth, Lori. Article about ? The Yellow Wallpaper.? http://voices. yahoo. com/literary-analysis-yellow-wallpaper-charlotte-11251. html? cat=38.? Lori Voth, November 21, 2005. Web. October 29, 2012. * Davison, Carol Margaret.? Haunted House/Haunted Heroine: Female Gothic Closets in ? The Yellow Wallpaper.? Women’s studies 33. 1(2004):47-75. Academic search complete. Web. 6 November, 2012.