Make your own free website on Tripod.com
IRIS'S LITERARY SENSE II

The Yellow Wallpaper Essay

Home
TORTOLLA CURTAIN ANALYSIS
LITERACY AUTOBIOGRAPHY
POET POWERPOINT
The Yellow Wallpaper Essay
A Rose For Emily
REFLECTIVE ESSAY

Water 2

Iris Levenson

 

Instructor – Steve Grundmeier                   

 

Course – English 1B

 

Date – February 13. 2005

 

                                                                     A Critical Analysis of “The Yellow Wallpaper”

 

The story shows clear evidence that in the period of the 18th and early 19th century there was a

 

well defined dividing line between the sexes. The term Women’s Sufferage was very

 

 appropriate for the time.  Women were victims. One article that expresses this well, states that

 

women were vulnerable to inadequate diagnosis. Most women’s ailments were caused by the

 

sexual organs.  This states one example of the differentiating between the sexes. Hysteria, known

 

as, The Daughters Disease was believed to be caused by aberrations in the reproductive system.

 

The cure was rest and sustaining from all intellectual stimulation. In the story the narrator has

 

been diagnosis with hysteria and temporary nervous depression.  This diagnosis was also based

 

on the author’s own experience which is depicted in the story. It is interesting to find that within

 

that time frame Winifred Howell and Edith Wharton also women writers were diagnosed and

 

treated in the same manner. The narrator of the story describes, the house that the protagonist of

 

 the story, selects for her prescribed rest as haunted and alienated. From the tone of the writing

 

 This would probably be something she would not choose, for her convalescence had her opinion

 

 been valued. The room that is selected for her was historically a nursery. This would be

 

 symbolic in keeping her childlike.  There are bars on the windows and hideous yellow wallpaper

 

 , with patterns of circles. The patterns on the wallpaper would be symbolic to her life as there

 

are no openings for escape. The color of the wallpaper is also symbolic as yellow being cowardly,

 

 ugly, and inferior.  The bed is bolted, reflecting the image of lack of choice.  As the narrator

 

 makes reference to “Myself” as it is stated, she doesn’t consider herself part of ordinary people.

 

The narrator makes reference to her writing as, dead paper, when she is speaking about the

 

 antagonist as the reason she is not getting well faster. The dead paper would be for her eyes only

 

 and the treatment is not realistic as a cure for her condition. Stating historically women’s

 

 misdiagnosis.   Perhaps what is missing is a cause for the ailment, which would be the

 

 underlying factor that created it in the first place. The narrator waits till her husband goes into

 

town, which allows her the freedom to write.  The protagonist warns her that with her

 

Weakness, she mustn’t give way to her imaginative power and imaginative story making. As the

 

story progresses it quietly submerges in a woman’s descent into madness. A descent not stopped

 

but escalated by the cure prescribed that was supposed to help her. She is weakening, and

 

beginning to see images in the pattern of the wallpaper. At first rationalizing her vision has been

 

created by the way the light hits the wall and assumes they are shadows, but then begins to describe

 

What she sees, as a strange, provoking formless figure that seems to skulk. The narrator does

 

state very clearly that she is aware of her being too tired to turn her head. She cries all the time at

 

nothing. She begins to obsess over the wallpaper and uses words like confusion and grotesque,

 

but what she is doing is describing her own feelings. The antagonist uses words, as he needs to

 

draw her closer to his dependency of her. She is his darling, his comfort and all he has.

 

The narrator surrenders. As the story ends the narrator referrers to her creeping state, where she

 

identifies herself with the, shadow woman in the wallpaper who is trapped. Crawling is

 

emblematic of the crudest form of servility. She could not get any lower.

 

 

 Sites for Information

 

THE INTERNET – Web site – Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society,  DOMESTIC GODDESS Copy write, Kim Wells  1998, a.k.a Scribbliing mobs of Women

 

 MSN ENCARTA- The Literature Guild -  S.Weir Mitchell, 1887,. The                                 treatment for Neurasthenia and Hysteria

    

Encyclopedia online MSN ENCARTA 2005 – WOMEN AND ECONOMICS, The Women Hall of Fame for Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 

University of Toledo libraries, Barbara Floyd, Archivist,  19th Century America Womens Health Care

 

American Literature research and analysis WEB SITE, under the direction of Dr. Jim Wahlport, Florida Gulf Coast University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

********There were never any specific page numbers, for the original works. The information was completely taken off the web sites indicated.

 

 

 

Enter content here

Enter supporting content here