SAMPLE PAPER:The Yellow Wallpaper

SAMPLE PAPER:The Yellow Wallpaper: Mental Illness While Achieving a Sense of Freedom


I. Part 1

The Yellow Wallpaper is a brief narrative authored by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The story was published in the year 1892. The writing is appraised for its demonstration of feminism and attributes of the women’s psychological and physical state of health during the 19th century (Subotsky 195). The author incorporated the duties women had during the 19th century and furthered on challenges such as the absence of another life apart from home and the energy of oppression from the community. This short story allowed other authors to follow the techniques incorporated and come up with their literature.

Charlotte Perkin’s story has led to the production of differently explained literature arguing about the themes and main attributes in The Yellow Wallpaper. This fascination among researchers gives it major significance among other works in the field of literature (Lin-na, 233). No specific analysis can be termed as the perfect description of the plot in the story since the issues raised in the book happened when they were almost changing discourses. This article has based in focus on three major concerns. These are arguments about the color yellow of the wallpaper, the application of wallpapers as a form of interior design in homes, and the effects of the reasoning skills employed by society on the health of women.

For so many years, the book was termed a Gothic story until it was republished as a text whose central theme is feminism. This tale has been among the most conflicting narratives published during the previous century. In this essay, the wallpaper shall be described as a character in the account. John is the other character employed in the narration and the narrator as the story was written in the first-person anecdote.

The narrator and the wallpaper have an interconnection that leads to total distortion of her sanity. Ironically, when the protagonist loses her mind, she finds freedom from her ‘imprisonment’. The events leading to her destroyed mental state shall be unfolded gradually

within this essay. The roles her husband and sister played in negatively affecting her mental stability while all these events took place shall also be comprehensively analyzed (Beer 199).

II. Part 2

The main themes in The Yellow Wallpaper including the oppression of women in the 1900 century in marriage and the significance of self-expression techniques. The narration also employs several literary devices to spice up the storyline and entice readers of the tale. Some of the literary devices used in the book include symbolism, metaphors, personification, and themes, as earlier mentioned (Adeniyi 3).

The aspect of symbolism is frequently used in the narration. The objects used as representations of deeper meanings include The Yellow Wallpaper itself, the moon, day and night time, and the homestead or estate. The central focus is on the Yellow Wallpaper in the entire narration. From the wallpaper, the story narrator discovers her individuality and her escape to freedom. The story begins with her persistence on the nature of the wallpaper, and this aspect consumes her and the narration altogether.

Another significant attribute of the nursery they dwelt in was the sturdy bed place. Different forms of literature speculate the themes attached to this setting in terms of sexuality (Rzadtki 2). The first discussed aspect is static sexuality, while the other is a sexual crucifix.  The former statement proves to be true since sexuality was not practiced just as the bed was fixed to the floor, making it immobile. During the time, the Victorian ladies wholly belonged to their men in terms of all sexual aspects, and they were advised that sexual rights were part of the women’s duties leading to the bearing of a specific number of children. The nailed bed is, therefore, another symbolic aspect incorporated in the narrative.

Another very significant concept in the story narrative is the narrator and her mental state. Nervous meltdowns and their remedies in women during the 19th century are used to enlighten readers. Additionally, the color yellow and its interconnectivity to mental health issues are discussed. The narrator also portrayed mental instability, particularly derangement. This representation forms the thesis of this essay as the narrator displays mental illness while achieving a sense of freedom through her relationship with the wallpaper (Fang 8).

III. Part 3

In this context, the loss of the narrator’s sanity makes the narration both thrilling and dramatic. One of the medical treatments reviewed in the essay was Silas’s remedy for the neurasthenia condition. The author condemned the remedy as she had personally experienced its ineffectiveness. The therapy was unsuccessful because the narrator herself states that she was on the verge of completely losing her mind.

The narrative explains the post-partum depression the women faced after they delivered. The story vividly describes the plights of 19th-century women. The doctors during the time viewed the women as highly prone to infections leading to mental health issues. They deteriorated health caused by their weak natures and their monthly reproduction cycles. The ladies who appeared to be more focused in life were even termed to be the most susceptible to getting infected. The ladies who were seen to be aggressive in pursuing roles of the opposite gender and pursuing higher levels of education and political terms were mainly reported as it seemed they were exposing themselves to the dangerous mental health instability condition of experiencing nervous breakdowns. The fatigue of the nervous system was a disorder that took over America during the 1900s. Dr. Silas personally mentioned that women brought up from the city areas lacked full abilities to perform motherhood activities.

The main character remains unnamed in the entire narration because she explained the narrative from the first-person narration technique. The narrator’s husband named John, has a home rented for her to undergo the rest-cure in and even tells her he will send her to the doctor if she does not get well. The protagonist is displeased by her husband’s threats, but she does not argue due to the lack of other alternatives. This state makes her completely devastated, and she slowly becomes mad. Her mental health condition continues to deteriorate further because of the yellow wallpaper inside her room. The yellow wallpaper gives her the perception that another lady is attempting to pass through the pattern on the wallpaper.

The narrator gets these thoughts as she possesses a wild imagination and is a fan of thriller and horror tales. The protagonist believes the house she resides in is haunted, and as she remembers her traumatizing childhood, she becomes more frightened. When she was young, she used to have thoughts about the existence of monsters, and upon reminiscing, she even became more afraid. The narrator enjoys tales, but because of her husband and rules and regulations implemented during the rest-cure, she cannot explore her writing skills. The narrator also feels like the idea of interacting with other individuals would help assist her in recovering. Still, her husband is not for the idea, and he adamantly forbids her from going outside.  He only keeps her in the house alone, doing nothing, and these factors worsen the narrator’s condition.

This makes the narrator helpless and depressed. When the pregnant woman had instructed the husband to change the existing wallpaper, her husband refused. This made her take the initiative of rearranging the wallpaper herself. These strange and frightening thoughts were attributed to her post-partum depression. This was a clear indication that the isolation was not making her better, but it worsened her condition.

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