Charlotte Perkins Gillman, an American author, wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a way to vent her frustration over women’s oppression. Gilman’s intent in writing “The Yellow Wallpaper”, is to show the way women are treated today and how it has been treated over time. This book was written for women suffering from postpartum depression, and those who feel trapped in unjust relationships. This literary analysis will examine how the author communicates her message through the novel.
This story was inspired by Gilman’s own depression experience. She uses metaphors to describe her feelings about the wall.
Gilman uses wallpaper imagery as a metaphor for feeling trapped within one’s own thoughts. Gilman uses many imagery to demonstrate how bizarre and terrible yellow paper can be. In her statement, “It’s an orange that is dull, yet lurid in some places, and a sickly-sulphur tint elsewhere, so it’s no surprise the children hated. I would hate it if my life here was too long.” Charlotte used imagery to make the audience see her thinking and show how the wall can drive her insane.
Gillian uses imagery in order to illustrate the differences. John is the dominant person, and the narrator the one who submits. This was done in order to control relationships that were too restrictive for women. It was 1800, and I feel like that plays a large role. Women back then were thought to be weak. They didn’t really have a role or voice at that time. Their husbands were the ones who dominated their lives. John treated his wife the same way in the story.
Gillman uses the story to show double standards women faced during WWII. Gillian writes in the story, “And it’s absurd John but I must tell you what and think that it’s such relief in certain ways.” John believes her thoughts are absurd, but she thinks they’re reasonable. The narrator could have known what her husband thought about her, but her thoughts were safe. This helps the reader understand that although they may have been married, their relationship was not equal. He was always right and she believed that he would do what was best for her. It also showed the lack communication between partners.
Gilman’s tone was confident, but not helpless for the narrator. The story’s narrator says that she disagrees with her brother and husband’s recommendations for treatment. Personally, I think that congenial and exciting work, with excitement for change, would be beneficial to me. Because her ‘nervous condition’ is her only concern, her confidence is evident.
Gilman opens the story by stating that John is a physician. He doesn’t believe that I am sick!” John does not validate her concerns and does nothing to make her feel better. We see this a lot. He treats her as if she were a child. John chose not to listen and that drives the narrator mad. His refusal to listen causes her depression and she begins to hide her thoughts. Gilman adds to the frustration by saying, “He laughs about me so about that wallpaper!” Though he intended to repaper it at first, he changed his mind after realizing that he was not letting it get me down. John’s laughter at her is what makes her mad and frustrated. He says he will change the wallpaper, but then he tells her no. You can’t let your stupid fantasy take over.
Gilman’s writing style is sarcastic. “Life has never been more exciting.”
Her humor and sarcasm make the story even more fun. Her wit and humor are used sparingly to give the story a lighter feel. This is because she is not afraid to express her thoughts, and is interested in the world around her. The author uses humor to brighten the story.
The author in “The Yellow Wallpaper” used literary techniques and tone to describe her feelings throughout the experience. The story also included imagery to illustrate her feelings at that time. This story helped her express how defeated she felt and that she didn’t have a voice. Gilman uses this wallpaper to symbolise the domestic slavery that so many women endure. The Yellow Wallpaper allowed many women to voice their feelings in 1800s. It was a platform that allowed them to share their emotions. The Yellow Wallpaper is an important story that has helped many women throughout the years.