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Charlotte Perkins Gilman's,

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Introduction

"The Yellow Wallpaper" Charlotte Perkins Gilman's, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a partial autobiography. It was written shortly after the author suffered a nervous breakdown. This story was written to help save people from being driven crazy. Appropriately, this short story is about a mentally disturbed woman and her husband's attempts to help her get well. He does so by convincing her that solitude and constant bed rest is the best way to cure her problem. She is not allowed to write or do anything that would require thinking. The woman is restricted to a room where she slowly begins to go insane. Atrocious yellow wallpaper covers this room and it aids in her insanity. The woman is writing the story to express her insane thoughts against her husband's will. "The Yellow Wallpaper" begins with the narrator talking about her illness. She informs the reader that her husband, John, is a physician and he believes she is not even sick. This may lead the reader to believe that she really is not sick also. She even says herself "I am glad my case is not serious!" It is revealed soon that she is writing this story to us, the readers, in secret. She feels comfortable writing on the paper and it relieves her. In the story she says, "I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind." ...read more.

Middle

Now it is clear that she may be suffering from postpartum depression and not a nervous condition. She has some form of depression. " I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time." It is clear that seclusion will not help, but only worsen her situation. She continues to write in secret revealing more insanity little by little. As the yellow wallpaper begins to play deeper into the story line, the narrator's eccentricities begin to show through. As she continues to be trapped in her own little corner of the house, she increasingly begins to focus her attention on the room's physical details, including the patterns and details of the unforgettable yellow wallpaper. She becomes obsessed with it almost." I'm really getting fond of the room in spite of the wallpaper. Perhaps because of the wallpaper." This is where supernatural ideas come into play. As she writes about things, the reader starts to believe that she really is going crazy. Is it the wallpaper, or is their really some supernatural being? One has to rely on her to write more details and let the reader know what is really happening. Because she is considered as crazy, she is an unreliable character. One automatically does not believe her story about the supernatural world within her own. The beginning of the story sets up the supernatural essence when she writes, " A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity - but that would be asking too much of fate!" ...read more.

Conclusion

When her husband confronts her after making his way into the room, his wife replies, "I've got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper so you can't put me back!" The reader may be thinking who is Jane? The Jane character is certainly herself, as well as the woman behind the wallpaper, since they are one in the same. The last set of events is very important to the overall plot. Finally, Jane has triumphed over her husband and has freed herself emotionally, if not physically, from the mental stresses of the room. She wrote the entire story and it was her way of expressing herself and her story of insanity. "The Yellow Wallpaper" presents readers with story of a woman's insanity. It tells how women were disregarded at times and treated like frail children at others. Ultimately, Jane realized that she held control over her own life. It was her responsibility to relieve her stress and tell her story. This is a story of seclusion and escape. "The Yellow Wallpaper," being highly autobiographical for Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was written shortly after her own nervous breakdown. The story is part reality for her and part fiction focusing on the treatment that Dr. S. Weir Mitchell enforced upon her which was rest, seclusion, and absolutely no writing, which is what she loved the most. Her story is a stepping-stone in helping to understand depression, liberating women, and expression. ...read more.

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