“The Yellow Wall-paper” is an amazing story that demonstrates how close-minded the world was a little over a hundred years ago. In the late eighteen hundreds, women were seen as personal objects that are not capable of making a mark in the world. If a woman did prove to be a strong intellectual person and had a promising future, they were shut out from society. Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote her stories from experience, but added fictional twists along the way to make her stories interesting. Charlotte Perkins Gilman grew up in a broken home without the presence of her father. Charlotte eventually moved away from her home with her mother and sister.
Charlotte tried to keep in contact with her father, but he did not want any part of the contact. Being rejected by her father, and not receiving any affection from her cold-hearted mother set the tone for the way she would live her life. After one failed marriage with a child, Charlotte did not believe that there was much left for her. Charlotte took her emotions and construed them into a positive thing, her writing. Just like the woman in the story, “The Yellow Wall-paper”, Charlotte was sick. The doctors prescribed the “rest cure” for Charlotte.
This prescription meant that she had to stay in bed for weeks on end, and had to limit her intellectual activities (Gilman 831).
Charlotte was also instructed to live as much of a domestic life as she could. The doctors and her husband wanted her to stay home to cook, clean, and tend to their child. Staying in your own house, in your own bed for that long of a time would drive any person the slightest bit of crazy.
A Comparison of Stories from "Woman Hollering Creek" I chose to compare the two stories "Woman Hollering Creek" and "Never Marry A Mexican." In "Never Marry A Mexican", the story takes place in modern day Texas, but that does not mean that Texas is the only setting which effects this story, the real context in which this story must be understood is today's Mexican culture as a whole, both in ...
During this time is when Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote, “The Yellow Wall-paper.”” The Yellow Wall-paper” portrays realism in its finest. Realism is defined as the representation in art or literature of objects, actions, or social conditions as they actually are, without idealization or presentation in abstract form (dictionary. com).
It must have been easy for Charlotte to write this literary work. Not only did Charlotte have all the time in the world, but she was also a feminist (Hudak).
When a person has enough time, and a just cause, wonderful literary works can happen. There is no better way to get emotions, ideas, and worries out into society than writing about what you believe in. This story is almost an autobiographical account of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s life. Charlotte suffered from years of continuous nervous breakdowns and depression.
Charlotte had to stay in her home all day every day (Suess).
Being secluded from the outside world, and having nothing to do made the home feel like a prison. The similarities between the main character of, “The Yellow Wall-paper” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman are uncanny. There is a lot of room for analysis within this story. Almost every line of this story can be picked apart to find hidden, yet important meanings.” If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency-what is one to do?” (Gilman 833).
It seems that Gilman picked the occupation of a doctor for the woman’s husband and brother to make it seem like they were superior to not just her, but all women (Snyder).
... representative of her downward spiral into madness. Works Cited Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wall-paper. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter ... that the pattern consists of bars that imprison a woman. Still depressed and becoming increasingly deranged from her lack ... approach to describing the setting works well with the story that she is trying to tell. A person that ...
The men had the power to tell her what was right and what was wrong, despite of it being her own body. While laying in her bed, the woman can not help but stare at the unsightly wallpaper that is all around her. “One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, 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 contradictions. The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” (Gilman 834).
The particular color of yellow in the story, according to one of my art teachers represents inferiority, strangeness, cowardice, and ugliness.
All of these adjectives can so easily be used in the story of “The Yellow Wall-paper.” Even though Charlotte Perkins Gilman did not suffer from hallucinations during her depression phases, she can relate to the character in the story very well. To save herself from staring at the unsightly walls, the woman writes down all of her thoughts in secret. “We have been here two weeks, and I haven’t felt like writing before, since that first day” (Gilman 834).
In a sense, both Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the main character of this particular story are writing down their thoughts into stories to stay sane; all the while they are staring into the face of insanity themselves. “On a pattern like this, by daylight, there is a lack of sequence, a defiance of law, that is a constant irritant to a normal mind” (Gilman 839).
The main character seems to come alive with wonder and amusement when it is night time. The woman then fears the daylight, because she knows that insanity will take over once again. The daylight most likely means that her life is back to the ordinary domestic routine and the man’s order. Along with trying to make sense of the patterns on the walls of her bedroom, a horrid odor protrudes from those same walls. “It used to disturb me at first. I thought seriously of burning the house-to reach that smell.
... writers. In the tradition of Charlotte Brant e and Jane Auster, Gilman places a woman at the core of the story. Ther by thumbing her ... 1992 Knight, Denise D. "the Yellow Wallpaper" and Selected Stories of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Newark, New Jersey: University of Delaware Press, 1994 Masse, ... of telling him [her improvement] was because of the wall-paper" (258). This sneaky attitude is new to her, as ...
But now I am used to it. The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell” (Gilman 841).
The woman eventually got used to the smell, and it added to her sense of fear and confusion. The more confused she got, the clearer her vision became with the patterns and the trapped woman on the inside of the bars. At the end of the story, is when the readers finally figure out the main character’s name.
Through out the whole story, the woman remained nameless. This makes it seem like it did not even matter if she had a name because she was just some crazy, helpless woman. “I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulder” (Gilman 844).
“‘I’ve got it out at last,’ ” said I, “in spite of you and Jane! And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!’ ” (Gilman 844).
Jane is the woman that is suffering from all of these hallucinations. In a sense, Jane was the woman she saw trapped in the wall paper behind the bars, because inside her head was a chaotic prison.
The same chaotic prison existed within Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Gilman’s periods of insanity were full of unbelievable amounts of rest and sporadic thoughts. Both Jane and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in a sense, were both feminists. Jane was a feminist in a subtle way. Jane was shocked when told by the doctors that all she needed was to rest and do domestic work when she could. Not being able to express her inner feelings made her want to write everything down so much more.
Jane then realized that she was being oppressed by the men in her life. Jane was not a strong woman, so she drove herself insane just to escape the reality that she was in. If the story of, “The Yellow Wall-paper” would have continued from its finishing point, I believe that Jane would have went even more mad and most likely would have killed herself to escape her own self-torture. Much like how Charlotte Perkins Gilman committed suicide in her own life. “The next year, suffering from breast cancer and convinced that her productive life was over, she committed suicide with chloroform she had long been accumulating” (Gilman 832).
Critics such as Adrienne Rich argue that Jane Eyre has to choose between the "temptation" of following the rule of passion by marrying Rochester, which would have made her dependent on him and not his equal, or of living a life of complete renunciation of all passions, by marrying St John Rivers. Fire and water imagery symbolises the two forces competing for dominance in Jane Eyre, both on a ...
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a lonely, insane woman, but her creativity got her through some hard times.
Writing “The Yellow Wall-paper” helped to created an outlet for Charlotte’s personal emotions. Charlotte and the main character of the story, Jane, are one and the same. After reading background information on Charlotte and reading “The Yellow Wall-paper”, it’s obvious that Charlotte was writing about what she knew; insanity.