The Yellow Wall Paper Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1796 words and 6 pages.

The Yellow Wall Paper


In the early twentieth century a writer's work usually represented one's surroundings. In
the stories 'Wunderkind'; by Carson McCullers and 'The Yellow Wallpaper'; by Charolotte
Gilman, there are examples of the immediate surroundings taking affect in their writings.
Both writers prove a point, conditions and attitudes presented in the early 20th century
influenced and often extinguished the potential or imagination of the artist. In most
cases a person becomes what his/her surroundings let them. A person's family, friends,
neighborhood and every day things will shape and mold one's morals and character.


In 'The Yellow Wallpaper,'; the narrator is also the author. Charolotte Gilman writes
about her struggle with insanity. Her imagination slowly extinguished and dwindled because
of attitudes present in this era. The story takes place in a house in the countryside.
John's plan was to get his wife away from all the hustle and bustle and have her relax.
John, a doctor, along with another doctor, gave John's wife a prescription of exercise,
rest and absolutely no writing. They believed (along with society) that this was the best
thing for people suffering from insanity. John never came out and said she was going
insane. He just said she was stressed and needed rest. He actually told her not to think
about her condition; it would only make things worse. So for the few weeks they were on
vacation, she tried to follow his prescription except for when she would secretly write.
It was a favorite passion of hers that gave her a break from society's daily stresses. On
a daily basis she was stuck in her house with no one to talk to because John would go to
town for days at a time. She wasn't allowed to take care of her baby. She couldn't even
talk to people about how she felt. In this time period women didn't have as much say as
they do now. Both her brother and her husband told her that this was the best thing for
her recovery. She couldn't say no when her husband was telling her not to write. I believe
that because of her surroundings which her husband put her in she went insane much faster.
The fact that she couldn't write and didn't really have anyone to talk to drove her to
start hallucinating about the women in the wall. The wallpaper in the room became one of
her fetishes. 'There are things in the wallpaper that nobody knows about but me, or ever
will.';(Narrator, 534) It wasn't just a small fetish at the end, but a large portion of
her day would be spent contemplating about the walls, colors, and designs. She even
believed she could smell the wallpaper, throughout the whole house and even in her hair.
Her mind started comprehending herself as the woman in the wallpaper. The woman was stuck
in the wall night after night just like her being stuck in the house. 'The faint figure
behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out,'; (Narrator 534).
Which was exactly what she wanted. She couldn't express herself in the ways she wanted to.
She didn't have any way of venting her emotions; writing was her escape. Most of the time
she was by herself and didn't have anyone to talk to, and when her husband was there she
couldn't really talk to him about all the things she wanted to. That's the symbolism
behind the figure in the wallpaper. Both she and the figure in the wall wanted to escape,
but neither could. She created this hallucination, in the sense that it was herself,
someone she could relate to. She tore up her room during what seemed to be a breakdown.
The wall paper was ripped off the walls in numerous spots. In her own mind she was trying
to free herself and her other self in the wall. I can't say exactly what she was thinking,
but I'm guessing when the figure in the wall was free, so was she. Many times her husband
stayed in town for long periods of time, which gave her plenty of time to do nothing. She
couldn't write because of John. Writing is a great way to channel your feelings and
thoughts. She was stuck in a lonely house with a mental disability. It seemed to get worse
on a daily basis and she couldn't really talk to anybody about how she was feeling. This
was a feeding ground for the disease (insanity) to get worse. Her potential was crushed
every day she wasn't allowed to write, along with the fact she couldn't leave the house or
even talk to her friends. Your potential can only grow if you nourish it and give it what
it needs. If you neglect it, it will slowly diminish. In this case, she needed an
environment that she could use her writing skills and interact and communicate with
others. Because of John crushing her potential, two serious things could result.(along
with others) She could lose some of her skills over time and it could also make her
extremely unhappy and probably depressed. When you have a love for something and you can't
do it, that creates inner turmoil, which doesn't help anybody. These are only a few of the
results of suppressing your artistic ability. This is only one person, that attitudes
during the 20th century extinguished her potential. Think about the thousands of lives
that also had this happen to them, because of societal views.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This time period didn't have much knowledge about insanity or how to treat it. This is why
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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