Analysis Of "The Yellow Wall Paper"

1190 words - 5 pages

An Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"One of the most inspiring short stories I have read was "The Yellow Wallpaper", written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this story Gilman uses the narrator's postpartum depression as a way to disguise the point she is trying to make. The symbolism of "The Yellow Wallpaper" can be recognized right away. In most literary works the problems or views of society are often included. Although Gilman's story reads as if she is simply telling the story of a woman's depression, the issue of women's equality is apparent.The relationship between the narrator and her husband would be disagreeable to a modern woman's relationship now. Today, most women want equality with their partner. The reader never learns the name of the narrator, maybe to make it look like she could be any woman. On the first page of "The Yellow Wallpaper", Gilman shows the male dominated society and relationship. It was typical of the time for men to think that they knew it all and for them to treat women as children.John, the narrator's husband, is a well-known doctor and both his and his wife's words and actions reflect the previously mentioned stereotype: "John laughs at me; of course one expects that in marriage." This statement demonstrates the obvious sexism of society at that time. John does not believe that his wife is sick, while she is really suffering from postpartum depression. He neglects to listen to his wife's thoughts, feelings and health through his way of thinking. He dismisses her requests and thoughts as childish "fancies". According to him, there is nothing wrong with his wife except for temporary nerve issues, which should not be serious.John feels rest and relaxation are what is needed to cure his wife. What he doesn't realize is that by closing her off from the world, he is taking away from her things that are important to her mental state such as her desire to read and write, her need for contact with friends and family and her need to make her own decisions and have her own opinions. All of these are important to all people for maintaining a healthy state of mind. In the time period of this story though, the idea of forced rest and relaxation was very common. The narrator's husband, brother and their colleagues all feel this is the proper way to correct her temporary nervous problem, which to them, doesn't exist.Throughout the beginning of the story, the narrator believes in the idea that the man is always right. She makes excuses for her feelings and his actions and words: "It is so hard to talk to John about my case, because he is so wise and because he loves me so." In a healthy relationship, each partner should be able to express his/her own thoughts and feelings. Honesty is one of the most important parts of a relationship. Out of fear of her husband's reaction, the narrator hides the fact that she is writing this story. She tells him that she sleeps during the day when she doesn't, and this bothers her: "It is a very...

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