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The Yellow Wallpaper - Reading Response - Essay Example

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Name of the Student English Name of the Concerned Professor 9 July 2012 Reading Response- The Yellow Wallpaper The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which tends to be a first person narrative of a woman suffering from depression, whose husband has limited her existence to the upstairs bedroom of the mansion they had rented during the summers…
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The Yellow Wallpaper - Reading Response

Download file to see previous pages... Considering the lonely and bored state of the narrator, one could certainly understand her obsession with the color and patterns on the yellow wallpaper, as she comments, “It is the strangest yellow that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw- not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things (Gilman 3).” However, the themes and patterns that this first person narrator sees in the yellow wall paper are not limited to a senseless and misplaced imagination, but rather are related to the issues and problems being faced by the narrator, in the context of her position and status in life. Yet, in a way the story The Yellow Wallpaper throughout remains uncertain and unclear about the narrator’s mental state and health. The other thing is that being limited to the confines of the upstairs nursery; the narrator is left with nothing to do, but, to think about the ugly yellow wallpaper with irregular patterns. At the start of the story the patterns and designs on the wallpaper appear senseless and meaningless to the narrator. In fact she positively finds the wallpaper to be boring and uninteresting. However, as the condition of the narrator worsens, this wallpaper begins to take an entire new meaning and importance for her. The wallpaper emerges to be the canvass on which she projects the imprints of her disturbed mental state and her suppressed emotions and aspirations. As her mental condition deteriorates, and perhaps she begins to lose stability, the wallpaper becomes the only puzzle that begins to possess and dominate her. Her occupation with the wall paper goes on increasing. In fact she begins to get confident that the themes and patterns she is able to identify in the wallpaper could be traced by nobody else. As the story proceeds, the narrator begins to lose interest in the people and gets more and more involved with the wallpaper. The wallpaper actually happens to be the only outlet where the narrator could vent her thoughts and aspirations. As her anger increases, she begins to engage in paranoid speculations regarding Jennie and John. “The fact is that I am getting a little afraid of John. He seems very queer sometimes, and even Jennie has an inexplicable look (Gilman 13).” Finding peace and happiness only in the wallpaper, the narrator slowly begins to merge her identity with the wallpaper, while distancing herself from the other people in her life. The narrator begins to see one other woman creeping behind the patterns in the wallpaper, which is perhaps some repressed aspect of her own personality. It is only after the tracing of the creeping woman in the wallpaper that the things get fast and racy, perhaps indicative of the narrators further decent into mental disturbance and illness. The expression of the narrator gets more confused and disjointed, yet seems to have a meaning and pattern of its own. The yellow wallpaper perhaps is symbolic of the stereotypical state of the women in the society of her times, where she is forced to come out with some sense and meaning within the confines of the physical and mental space that is allocated to her. The narrator once rightly says ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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