The Yellow Wallpaper Interpretation Essay

Date:  2022-01-04 12:05:48
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents her main character in the short story The Yellow Wallpaper as a young weak unnamed woman descending into madness from an undiagnosed illness. Before her entrapment, the narrator shows distinct symptoms that she was experiencing schizophrenia. Her loving husband, John, is repressing and places her in seclusion owing to recuperating her hallucination but she begins to show clear signs of insanity. This paper will track the trajectory of the main character's nervous breakdown to demonstrate Gilmans application of literary devices, the point of view, symbolism, and tone. The discussion will show the narrator's journey as she descends into insanity, showing the author's application of literary devices to arrest the reader's understanding of her perception and attitude towards the whole account.

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The heightening of her deteriorating mental sanity, the author depicts her point of view to show how isolation impacted the drive to insanity. Enclosing the narrator in the large airy bedroom in the colonial mansion leaves her limited options to escape lurid contemplation. According to the author's point of view in describing the rooms, properties played a considerable contribution to driving the narrator into insanity. The representation of the colonial mansion shows the dictatorial history attached to the house where the narrator is confined. The text objectivity of the room's yellow wallpaper shows the contribution of these properties displaying the symptoms of paranoia, hallucination and false impression of greatness leading to extreme mental illness. When exploring these considerations the author tries to persuade her readers on her objective perception that the situation the narrator finds herself in, contributes to her insanity. The text emphasizes that the protagonist was ill at the onset of the narration but the conditions she suffers leads to her extreme madness. In Gilman's effort to show her point of view on the contribution of the situation she lives in takes her to madness, the narrator states I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin 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.. The authors house the perception that the protagonist destroys her life due to self-denial and foreshadowing thoughts. In this note, the author demonstrates the narrator's weakness and hallucinating nature were the contributing factors to her distorted mental state. The narrator's husband, John, is perceived by the text to neglect his wife and a considerable cataract to her deteriorating mental illness. When the text says that imaginative power and habit of story-making. Signifies that the husband was not convinced from the word go that she was hysterical. According to the author, the husband being a physician indicated that she has slight depression shows that the initial stages she suffered from depression and was not insane at the start of the narration.

The symbolic representation of the narrator's isolation and the metaphoric influence of the wallpaper in driving her to insanity show how the narrator's feelings are subconsciously emotional. Placing symbolic representation of the wallpaper and other hallucination features steers the pathway towards the narrator's insanity. When the text explains the two weeks of isolation suffered by the protagonist shows the author's symbolic representation of time as a path to insanity. The metaphoric personification of the wallpaper during the isolation makes the environmental aspects that drive the narrator into mental illness. The narrator felt that her new companion, the wallpaper, was communicating to her in an unknown manner when she says There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will the obsession grows when the narrator emphasizes on the abstract forms she begins to draw on the wallpaper heightens the hallucinations levels.

The protagonist's imagination contributed to the large driver of her mental distortion. When her husband recommends confinement to forbid her from participating in any creative thinking the symbolic imaginative ability shows the patterns of her figurative contribution to madness. When her husband tells her that a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency, so I try. The prohibition of the narrator from exploring her imaginative thoughts gives her enough room to occupy her new image with the yellow wallpaper that was a representation of the new surroundings and contributes to confusing her suppressed feeling further. The metaphor's use of imagination as the contributor to the narrator's drive from nervous uncertainty to extreme madness shows the author's representational significance of the contribution of the mind to give the narrator the reason to engage in a hallucination. Being trapped in the isolation room, the narrator's emotional distress is overpowered by the loneliness that engages her with concrete thoughts that focus on provocative irritation. The author successfully demonstrates the active contribution of the narrator's imaginative power to drive her into insanity.

The application of tone and style in the short story The Yellow Wallpaper Gilman arrests the reader's understanding and engagement in the narration in the way she chooses the language of narration. When showing the inner and external nature of the suffering endured by the narrator gives the readers mod to identify the pain suffered. The entire narration presents the main character as a highly imaginative and expressive woman who suffers insanity from desperation. The extensive imaginary visions that rule her life from childhood contribute to her final mental illness. The author is tactful to use a physiological practitioner as her husband; his contribution to her unfortunate fate shows the contrast. The author evokes sympathy from the reader who is left wondering what the husband should have instituted as a medic rather than locking her in isolation. When John forbids the narrator from exercising imaginative thinking, the author demonstrates the failure of this therapy by bringing the frustration growing in her senses. The text shows the creative style that replaces the external world to slip into the inner fantasy that contributed to her breakdown.

Gilman applies the division of conscious drift as a stylish credibility to convince the reader of the role of the environmental drive to enhance mental distortion of the narrator. At the beginning of the narration, the text disapproves of the narrator's effort to escape her life threats by tying her up to the situation. The application of the effective use of trapping tone gives the protagonist an entangled horror that leads to the loss of sobriety. The use of mistrust of the environment and its role in contributing to therapy shows the author's discretization of the antagonism of the main character, the environment and other characters. For instance, when the protagonist says that I don't like to look out of the windows even though there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast... the use of descriptive text helped the author to show the precedence of the deteriorating mental health of the narrator.


In conclusion, Gilman makes considerable efforts to show how the protagonist moves from simple nervous breakdown to extreme insanity. The author's application of literary devices makes considerable efforts to convince the reader of the different phases suffered by the main character from hallucination to madness.

Works cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (1892). The Yellow Wallpaper (1997 ed.). Dover Publications.

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