Literary Analysis of The Yellow Wall Paper - Essay Example

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The protagonist, who is also the narrator, suffers from post-partum depression. She is prescribed complete rest as the cure, and is subjected to…
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Literary Analysis of The Yellow Wall Paper
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Download file to see previous pages It is evident that her writing is very important to her. She considers it to be cathartic, and is sure that it “would relieve the press of ideas and rest me” (Gilman, 8). On the other hand, her husband considers her storytelling abilities, and rich imagination, to be an indication of feminine weakness and absolutely forbids her to write. She is compelled to write stealthily, hiding her work from her husband and Jennie, who also considers that “it is the writing which makes me sick” (Gilman, 9). Writing against opposition, and in fear of discovery, only makes the narrator’s condition worse. The imagination which she could have expressed through writing is now turned inwards and is transferred to the yellow wallpaper.
The confinement of the narrator’s marriage is another form of repression. She loses her identity as an individual and is expected to submit unconditionally to her husband’s authority. John assumes that he knows what is best for her, and adopts the stance of a warm-hearted jailer. He sets down the rules of her daily routine: “He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction” (Gilman, 6). Her wishes regarding her treatment are overlooked: she is not allowed to move to the room downstairs; her dislike of the yellow wallpaper is dismissed as a silly fancy; she is not permitted to have her stimulating cousins as company. John does not respect her as a mature woman, but treats her as a little child, addressing her as “blessed little goose” (Gilman,7) and “little girl” (Gilman, 11), carrying her to bed and reading stories to her.
The narrator’s repression by the patriarchal society of those days is the major factor which pushes her over the edge of sanity. She is expected to conform to the prevailing stereotype of wife and mother, represented by Jennie in the story: “She is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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