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The Torment of Women Shown in The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Paper is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is among the main works of the nineteenth century which made a great footprint on American feminist literature. The story is focused on the unnamed female protagonist and the attitudes of the society of those days on her physical and mental health.

The narrative is written in a first person manner, as it recalls the journal that the woman kept while being on a therapy that her husband—a physician—ordered. After she had given birth to their child, the woman indicated the symptoms of postpartum psychosis. Yet, her mental state was perceived by her husband as a nervous depression with hysterical tendencies, as women in the nineteenth century were not supposed to be much emotional after all. To “cure” the woman, she is assigned with a special treatment that includes the no-work rule, along with the encouragement to eat well and spend enough time outside in order to breathe fresh air.

As the protagonist is locked in a room upstairs, she starts to notice the details about it. The windows are boarded up, the wallpaper is torn, and the floor is scratched. The woman begins to suspect that another woman was once enclosed here against her will. The reader is left unsure whether the damage to the room was caused by the storyteller or by the previous resident, as eventually the woman damages it as well (for example, she was biting a wooden bedstead).

The woman devotes her secret journal to description of wallpaper in the room — their "yellow" smell, "dizzying" pattern, the missing parts, and how they leave the yellow smear on the skin and clothing when you touch them. In the absence of other stimuli, the design of the wallpaper is becoming more and more intriguing for the narrator. Soon, she begins to see the figure in the picture wallpaper and eventually comes to the conclusion that there is a woman hiding behind them. Assuming that she should try to free a woman in the wallpaper, she begins to tear off the remaining paper from the wall.

The torment of women shown in the story has a firm connection with the peculiarities of the nineteenth century. Back then, people were especially neglective about women’s wellbeing. Along the story, the woman was very resistant to her husband’s will: she wanted to work, wanted to socialize with other people, wanted to take care of her child, and by no means wanted to stay trapped in the room upstairs.

The Yellow Paper is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is among the main works of the nineteenth century which made a great footprint on American feminist literature. The story is focused on the unnamed female protagonist and the attitudes of the society of those days on her physical and mental health.

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Assignment ID
100001977
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CREATED ON
September 23, 2016
COMPLETED ON
September 24, 2016
Price
$13
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Essay Example Comments
tessa.warman51
December 6, 2016
tessa.warman51
Thank you!
jandool
November 27, 2016
jandool
perfect writer i love what he did