Yellow Wallpaper Essay

( Full name Charlotte Anna Perkins Stetson Gilman ) American short narrative author. litterateur. novelist. and autobiographer. The undermentioned entry nowadayss unfavorable judgment of Gilman’s short narrative “The Yellow Wallpaper” ( 1892 ) . The short narrative “The Yellow Wallpaper. ” by nineteenth-century women’s rightist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. was foremost published in 1892 in New England Magazine. Gilman’s narrative. based upon her ain experience with a “rest cure” for mental unwellness. was written as a review of the medical intervention prescribed to adult females enduring from a status so known as “neurasthenia. ” The significance of “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a feminist text. nevertheless. was non acknowledged until the critically acclaimed 1973 reprint of the narrative by the Feminist Press. Henceforth. “The Yellow Wallpaper” made its manner into the canon of feminist literature. going a basic of university women’s surveies courses. Since 1973. “The Yellow Wallpaper” has been reissued by several publishing houses in assorted volumes edited by literary critics. It was besides adapted to movie in a 1992 made-for-television production by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Plot and Major Fictional characters

While in her mid-twentiess. Gilman was diagnosed with a mental upset called neurasthenia or “nervous collapse. ” She was treated by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell. the taking authorization on this unwellness. Mitchell’s remainder remedy. prescribed chiefly to adult females. consisted of perpetrating the patient to bed for a period of months. during which clip the patient was fed merely mild nutrients and deprived of all mental. physical. and societal activity—reading. authorship. and painting were explicitly prohibited. Gilman one time stated that the remainder remedy itself about drove her insane. The analogues between Gilman’s experience and that of the storyteller in “The Yellow Wallpaper” are apparent in the narrative. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is structured as a series of secret diary entries by an nameless adult female. a immature married woman and new female parent whose enfeebling mental status has prevented her from caring for her baby. She and her hubby John. who is a physician. have rented a house in the state. in which she is to take a remainder remedy. The storyteller is confined to an upstairs room that was one time a child’s baby’s room but has been stripped of all trappingss and decor. except for a bed that is nailed to the floor. bars over the Windowss. and a brassy xanthous wallpaper. She describes the colour and form of the
wallpaper in an mixture of unsavory ways. The storyteller becomes more haunted with the wallpaper and begins to conceive of that a adult female is trapped behind it. The story’s finale finds the storyteller crawling around the borders of the room and rupturing the wallpaper in ragged sheets from the walls in an effort to liberate the adult female she believes to be trapped behind it. When her hubby unlocks the door and finds his married woman and the room in these conditions. he is appalled. “I’ve got out at last. ” she explains. “And I’ve pulled off most of the paper so you can’t set me back! ” He faints. and she continues to crawl around the room. creep over her hubby as he lies unconscious on the floor. Major Subjects

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Several major subjects emerge from the narration of “The Yellow Wallpaper. ” Gilman’s narrative expresses a general concern with the function of adult females in nineteenth-century society. peculiarly within the kingdom of matrimony. pregnancy. and domesticity. The narrator’s parturiency to her place and her feelings of being dominated and victimized by those around her. peculiarly her hubby. is an indicant of the many domestic restrictions that society topographic points upon adult females. The xanthous wallpaper itself becomes a symbol of this subjugation to a adult female who feels trapped in her functions as married woman and female parent. Gilman’s narrative farther expresses a concern for the ways in which society discourages adult females of originative self-expression. The narrator’s impulse to show herself through authorship is stifled by the remainder remedy. Yet. the originative urge is so strong that she assumes the hazard of in secret composing in a journal. which she hides from her hubby. Finally. “The Yellow Wallpaper” addresses issues of mental unwellness and the medical intervention of adult females. While the storyteller is clearly enduring from some sort of psychological hurt at the beginning of the narrative. her mental province is worsened by her husband’s medical sentiment that she confine herself to the house. The insufficiency of the patriarchial medical profession in handling women’s mental wellness is farther indicated by the narrator’s fright of being sent to the celebrated Dr. Weir. advocate of the remainder remedy intervention. Critical Reception

At the clip of its initial publication in 1892. “The Yellow Wallpaper” was regarded chiefly as a supernatural narrative of horror and insanity in the
tradition of Edgar Allan Poe. In 1920. “The Yellow Wallpaper” was reprinted in the volume Great Modern American Short Stories. edited by William Dean Howells. who described it as a narrative to “freeze our … blood. ” Elaine R. Hedges. writer of the afterword to the 1973 version. praised the work as “one of the rare pieces of literature we have by a nineteenth-century adult female who straight confronts the sexual political relations of the male-female. husband-wife relationship. ” Since that clip. Gilman’s narrative has been discussed by literary critics from a wide scope of perspectives—biographical. historical. psychological. women’s rightist. semiotic. and socio-cultural. About all of these critics acknowledge the narrative as a feminist text written in protest of the negligent intervention of adult females by a patriarchal society. Furthermore. the narrative has sparked lively critical treatment and on-going argument over the symbolic significance of the wallpaper. the extent to which the narrative represents an effectual women’s rightist statement. and the deductions of the story’s stoping. Critics continue to debate the inquiry of whether Gilman provides a feminist solution to the patriarchal subjugation that is exposed in the narrative. while admiting the digesting significance of “The Yellow Wallpaper” as both a feminist papers and a literary text for modern-day readers.