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Essay sample - short story analysis
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Penned by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and subsequently published in a magazine in 1982 (Laing), the 6000-word short story unveils the taboos pertaining to women’s health…
Written as a first-person, the story is a fictitious reflection of a woman suffering from nervous depression, and who has been caged within a room of a rented house by her husband. Through the day she has a caretaker to keep a constant check on her while throughout the night her husband makes sure she does not leaves the bed. The physician husband has made sure her wife has no way to escape and has especially chosen an upstairs room with barred windows. The tale is an expression of the hardships this woman faces – both mentally and physically – and ends up in the woman exploring a new personality from within her. What cures her? The yellow wallpapers.
The main focus of the story revolves around this woman who is seen as ill. She speaks to the readers through a conversation sort of a story, writing out like one would write his or her daily diary and reflects on her views and experiences. Her serious mental disorder is tried to be cured by confining her to a room and forcing on her a full-time rest. The more the woman is forced into solitary confinement, the more her health is deteriorated. Out of the confinement in the room she discovers strange feelings and objects that are not really present. She is hallucinated into feeling objects and even seeing real-time people. The yellow wallpaper covering the wall of her room becomes her special attention as she sees a woman, barred behind the paper. Others around her see these signs as her pathway to madness. As she grows madder and obsessed by the strange wallpaper, she locks herself in the room one day and tears off the wallpaper completely. Done, she claims to her husband that she was finally ‘free’!
Popularly seen as a feminist story, The Yellow Wallpaper grieves the readers with its idea. It is set in a time when mental disorders were little known and were related more to spiritual beings than mere brain disorders. Such was often treated with exorcism, which mostly was ill-treatment. ...
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