The Creeping Women

The ¬†‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ was a very unusual story about a married couple. The short story was written as a diary of the wife, dealing with depression,¬†¬†a sociological feeling that I will not be able to truly comprehend, the thought of being in this state or understand it always¬†frightens¬†me, yet I still feel empathy for the narrator. Empathy in the strangest ways, not as someone that sees women in the wall paper but more as a woman struggling with her depression and her marriage.

They lived in a colonial mansion which the narrator¬†describes as a haunted house. The protagonist¬†was battling¬†nervous depression, through out the short story her husband, John, who was a physician, gave her medication, but strangely enough, he didn’t believe that she was sick, he didn’t let her work or be social. It was even more extreme when he restrained her from writing and got very upset when she would work¬†on it. She did not want to upset¬†him, so she kept a journal hidden.¬†¬†I think the writing was an escape, where she was never restricted or afraid by her husband or her depression.

She described her home, “The most beautiful place!”, with a “delicious garden”, but there was one room she found disturbing and revolting. This room was previously¬†a nursery and a playroom for children, it was covered with wall paper that was dullish with traces, and covered with torn spots. As the reader it portraited the stigma the protagonist had during the entire story, she later described as the, “worst paper” in her life. ¬†During the story, she insisted on taking down the dull wallpaper but her husband believed that she was acting as a nervous patient, because of this he wouldn’t give in.

Day after day the wallpaper became more and more of an obsession to her. She later became fond of the room and the ‘dull’ paper, ¬†she would constantly look at the wallpaper to figure out the patterns it had, and she even noticed it’s¬†smell. Afterwards, she started seeing a woman¬†who was, ‘creeping as fast as a cloud shadow in a high wind’. She wanted to catch the women, tie her up. Later, she saw more creeping women out the window. She then believed that she too came from the wallpaper, ripping off all the wallpaper,¬†nothing could stop her. ‘I’ve got out at last’ she screamed to her husband, who was waiting¬†outside the door trying to open it. ¬†Maybe this was her trying to escape her depression, feeling trapped in her thoughts. I think that’s why she never wanted her child to stay there, maybe she wanted to make¬†sure the child never felt trapped like she did.¬† During the whole story, we are brought into the mind of a depressed woman, her thoughts and¬†her actions allowing us¬†to understand the world around her, yet the most human aspect she shares with the reader¬†could¬†be¬†the thought of her escaping her thoughts.

 

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