The Yellow Wallpaper

Length: 5 Pages 1327 Words

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 depress Continue...


Jane is searching for a voice that will be heard. Jeanie sees nothing wrong with doing her housekeeping and child-care duties while Jane lies isolated in bed. Also, the yellow color of the wallpaper symbolizes sickness and death. In fact one specialist changed his treatment methods after reading the story (845). She refers to the foreground pattern as being more visible than the background pattern. The language used is also symbolic. The baby's name is Mary and is cared for by the couple's housekeeper Jeanie, who is also John's sister. While reading this story, it is almost impossible to overlook the amount of symbolism used. Charlotte followed the doctor's advice for a little over three months, at which time she was to the edge of mental ruin. And so, again Gillman succeeds in drawing the reader into her story. This means that she wants to see herself fitting in with society and contributing to life, but the background pattern is forcing her to feel depressed and miserable (837). She suffered from melancholia, which caused her to have nervous breakdowns, as well as other side effects. The patterns used within the yellow paper have some significant symbolism behind them as well.