Analysis of '"'The Yellow Wall-paper'"'
the writings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman express feministic views on specific segments of society in America. Her rocky marriage to Charles Stetson sparked the beginning of her poetry writing. She learned during this time about the unequal treatment of women in society, and started to formulate her own views on women’s rights. In 1892, she finished her most famous literary work, '"'The Yellow Wall-paper.'"' This fictional story was based on the depression and suffering that she had encountered in her own life. Gillman was quoted saying: '"'It [the story] was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked.'"' (831). In our analysis of this short story, we will look at the story summary, the symbolism used, and Gillman’s reasons for writing the story.
The female narrator of '"'The Yellow Wall-paper'"' is named Jane and is suffering from temporary depression. She is upset that her husband John doesn’t believe that she is sick. She blames him for not helping her, even though he is a physician. She says, '"'I would not say this to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind'"' (833). The depression in her life is actually post-partook depression, following the birth of her baby. The baby’s name is Mary and is cared for by the couple’s housekeeper Jeanie, who is also John’s sister. Jeanie sees nothing wrong with doing her housekeeping and child-care duties while Jane lies isolated in bed.
The story takes place in John and Jane’s cottage, in an upstairs bedroom, where there are bars on the windows and the bed is bolted to the floor. There is also yellow wallpaper on the walls, an attempt to give the room the feeling of a nursery. But Jane feels like the wallpaper is trapping her in the room and won’t let her out. She decides to tear down the wallpaper, so that she won’t feel trapped...