Literary Analysis on Yellow Wallpaper


The Yellow Wallpaper is a story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is about a woman who becomes infatuated with yellow wall paper in a room her and her husband John rent during summer break. She is not allowed to do what she wants to do and that is writing. She and her husband had a choice of two rooms with the other room having a pretty design but it was smaller. The idea behind going away for the summer came when the author needed to take a break to help cure nervous breakdowns she experienced. Later she wrote this story to give more meaning about what people often experience.

The Yellow Wallpaper refers to yellow wallpaper in the room where her characters stayed. The author narrates the story. The story originally was published in a magazine in 1891 with some readers thinking it was a horror story. The story helped give insight on how people viewed mental health and how it affected women. The views back then were different than what they are today, but it seemed to be somewhat out of the box and bazaar. The idea of a “rest cure” was meant to help a person regain stability from dealing with hectic busy schedules making them feel as if they were going insane.

The Yellow Wallpaper details a situation in which the narrator is not comfortable with her surroundings. She is not able to engage in activity she wants to simply because her family doesn’t want her to or they think it is not a good idea. She gets obsessed with yellow wallpaper in her room and develops weird ideas from being bored out of her mind. She thinks a woman is trapped in the paper and tries to free her by tearing the paper off the walls. Her husband later walks in to find her in action ripping wallpaper off the wall and passes out.

So, what is the point of the story? Some belief that when you get bored out of your mind it can make you lose it in some sense. For example, when you were on punishment as a child you couldn’t do something such as go out and play. You really wanted to do this but you have the frustrated feeling. The story is a similar concept but the narrator seems to develop a mental health problem. Many still question the ending of the story and wonder why it ended this way.

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