Jessica M. Bird
16 Feb. 2010
The Truth Behind The Yellow Wallpaper
In The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, there are many directions the story can go. Gilman wrote the story that way so it could be interpreted in numerous different ways. She wanted the readers to use their own ingenuity to find out what really is happening with in the story. All the evidence throughout the story points to the narrator being in an insane asylum from the beginning
The location of the house itself is rather strange. “The most beautiful place! It is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village. It makes me think of English places that you read about, for there are hedges and wall and gates that lock, and lots of separate little houses for the gardeners and people” (Gilman 460).
The narrator describes it as an English place, yet in this time period things are modernizing. People are staying closer to town because of the factories and jobs. Even doctors stay closer to town to stay closer to patients because many of the factory workers get injured. The only reason the house would be far away is if it was an insane asylum. Many times they stay farther away from town because the town feared them and outcast them as freaks. The towns were not the only things modernizing in this time period; the insane asylums were as well.
Dm on geezerThere's a story Philip Pullman tells to illustrate what he's about. Many years ago, on holiday, he decided to amuse his five-year-old son, Tom, by giving him a version of the Odyssey every night. 'By the end of the story, Tom, who was sitting with a glass in his hand, was so galvanised he bit a chunk out of the glass. That's the power of storytelling. Thank you Homer.' The author of ...
In the early nineteenth century many insane asylums used torture devices to help their patients. They would chain them on beds nailed beds to the floor, so they could not wander at night, and also used shock therapy. Many patients who went in only got worse and not better. Sigmund Freud and other psychologist around the world started studying the human mind and changed the world of psychology. These psychologists believed that if you treat the patients with more humanity they would get better. The insane asylums were completely transformed. “It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was a nursery first then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls” (Gilman 461).
The entire description of the room fits the old style of the insane asylums. Many times the windows were bared for the patients’ safety. It prevented them from escaping or jumping to their death. The rings were used to chain down patients if they were a danger to themselves or others around them. Patients were also chained down for shock therapy and other various methods that doctors believed would exorcised the illness or disease from them. Yet in this story the old methods are not implied. The new age psychology has taken its place.
There is proof within the story that other patients have been here as well. “The wallpaper, as I said before, is torn off in spots, and it sticketh closer than a brother-they must have had perseverance as well as hatred. Then the floor is scratched and gouged and splintered, the plaster itself is dug out here an there, and this great heavy bed which is all we found in the room, looks as if it had been through the wars” (Gilman 463).
Earlier in the story the narrator stated that she believed this room was a nursery, a playroom, then a gymnasium. Due to the other details that the narrator stated in the text indicated that the room had always been a part of a psychiatric facility. A nursery, playroom and gymnasium would not have had the indicated amount of damage. Many rooms in an asylum are damaged because of the patients. “But here I can creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall, so I cannot loose my way” (Gilman471).
Comparing Short Stories Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" and Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" are both centralized on the feminist ic views of women coming out to the world. Aside from the many differences within the two short stories, there is also similarities contained in Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" and Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," such as the same concept of the "rest ...
It would have taken many life spans to make a groove in a wall. This indicates that more individuals were once in this room suffering from an insanity.
During this era medications did not exist for many psychological conditions. One of these was schizophrenia. Many with this illness were put in asylums because the illness was not understood. Schizophrenia is medical condition that one sees and hears things that does not exist. All evidence within The Yellow Wallpaper points toward the narrator having this psychological disorder. Throughout the story she is only getting worse. In the beginning she is only obsessed with the wallpaper. Day after day she watches it and follow the patterns. Later on in the story she sees shapes coming out of the wallpaper. “There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or eve rill. Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer everyday. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind the pattern.’ (Gilman 465) What she is seeing are simply hallucinations. No one else sees them except her. The dim shapes are getting clearer everyday because day by day her condition is worsening. “ I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulders. ‘I’ve got out at last,” I said, “in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”’ (Gilman 471).
The end of the story the narrator is beyond helping. Her illness has over taken her and she no longer exists; only her insanity does. Also, she said in spite of you and Jane. The readers do no know who Jane is.
It is obvious with the evidence stated above she is schizophrenic. Therefore she imagined and hallucinated many things. John was her doctor and not her husband. Earlier in the story it stated he chose that room because he could fit two beds. Depending on the severity of the illness sometimes doctors and nurses had to stay with a patient so they would not harm themselves. John always had to leave her because he had more serious patients to attend to. “John is away all day, and even some nights when his cases are more serious.” (Gilman 461) He leaves because there are other patients in the building. Mary and Jennie are nurses. They always come in to check on her and to make sure she is all right. It is also a coincidence that her brother is also a doctor. “My brother is also a physcian…” Due to the proof of the narrator’s illness she believes everyone in the asylum is part of her family. It is part of the delusion that comes with her illness.
The story, "IN DAFF" uses the feminist strategy because it is the approach to literature that seeks to correct or supplement what may be regarded as a predominately male-dominated critical perspective with a feminist consciousness. Feminist theories also attempt to understand representation from a women's point of view. The narrator is in search for her own identity. The narrator is unsure about ...
The location of the house and the condition of the room sparked the idea that the narrator resided in an insane asylum. Her obsession with the wallpaper and her hallucinations led one to believe she suffered from schizophrenia. Many who suffer from this psychological disorder may imagine and hallucinate many things, like a woman coming out of a wall and the doctors and nurses being her family. Based on the evidence previously stated, one can conclude that the narrator suffered from schizophrenia and resided in an insane asylum.