The Yellow Wallpaper

“And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!” (Gilman). Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 – August 17, 1935) was a utopian feminist during her years of living. Her story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, is one of her most popular stories still being read to date. Jane was a troubled lady who relied on a man to help her get through life. John was the one who cared for her but he never really did care about her. The wallpaper that was inside her room had felt to her that she was being haunted. In this time period it was more of a man to rule over a woman. Jane let herself get talked down to and treated poorly. Once the wallpaper has been taken off she can’t be put inside.
To begin with, Jane was having difficulty standing up for herself. For example, John would constantly treat her like a little kid and she was getting fed up with it. She relied on him for every single thing that needed to be done. “I have a schedule prescription for each hour in the day; he takes all care from me and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more” (Gilman). Without him, she would crumble to pieces. Since she’s very dependent on him she doesn’t want to mess things up. She said he is very careful and loving but he doesn’t show it at all. He believes in a man has full control therefore she doesn’t have proper self-control. He doesn’t support her emotionally by like giving her advice or companionship. “Then he took me in his arms and called me a blessed little goose”. (Gilman) Constantly throughout the story she is viewed as a little child or a baby. She never wants to make him feel uncomfortable even if that means she has to make herself feel uncomfortable. The house feels strange to her but every time she’d tell John that he’d just tell her to take her medicine to calm down. Jane wanted to feel free and to finally be independent. She couldn’t though if she felt trap inside.
In addition, the way Jane talks in the story is by using a hidden meaning. For example, the wallpaper meant more to her than just something that covers the walls. The wallpaper meant that she needs to break free of her comfort zone and take control over her life. “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars (Gilman)”, the wallpaper to her feels like a jail cell since she thinks that there are bars are on it. Her writing is something that’s keeping her from going insane. It lets her hope that there’s more to life than just sitting in a house all day. “But I can write when she is out, and see her a long way off from these windows” (Gilman), that sentence is saying when she writes she’s reveling her true self. She thinks John would laugh at her and embarrass her if she told him that she’s writing. So writing to her is the only way she can relieve her stress. It allows her to say whatever she wants instead of having to bottle it up. Every time she tried to tell him that she’s sick he would just ignore it and say to not think about it. She said John doesn’t really have an idea about how much she suffers. He thinks that there is no reason why she is and for her to just deal with it.
Lastly, the yellow wallpaper is mainly the primary reason she feels the way she does. For instance, she describes the room as big and airy with windows that look everywhere. To everyone else, the wallpaper is just wallpaper. To her, it’s herself being trapped. “I never saw a worse paper in my life” (Gilman). The wallpaper is beginning to rip off which starts to bother her. She wanted to change rooms because she didn’t like it at all. John kept saying there’s no reason why they should so he wouldn’t. The bars on the wallpaper were never noticeable until she began to really look. There were never bars on the wallpaper, it felt like it was to her because she was trapped inside the women she wanted to be. She felt that the wallpaper would be a slap in the face, it’d knock someone down and that it would trample upon a person. The pattern is a florid arabesque which was supposedly really hideous. “I didn’t realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman (Gilman)”. She imagined it would be a woman; the closer she looked the more of a human she’d see. The woman figure was really Jane breaking free of the pain she was put through.
In conclusion, at the end of the story Jane broke free of man and became strong women. A man should never have full control of someone’s life. Every single person in the word can stand up for themselves even if they get pushed around. Getting pushed around is letting someone have full control of the way someone lives their life. The significance of this story is that behind every person is someone who wants to feel happy and to be proud. For Jane it took awhile to accomplish that because she wouldn’t allow it.





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