Trapped inside

The interesting story The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman seems to be about a husband caring for his wife. John, the husband, is a physician. The story was written in 1899 so society was drastically different than it is today. The reader instantly pictures a old creaky mansion or house in the second paragraph. John is also stated to be superstitious so that may come into play later. The woman states that she may have nervous depression and her husband and her brother who is also a physician urge her to follow a medication regimen. They also forbid her to work on anything until she is completely well again. The woman strongly disagrees and believes that excitement and pleasant work would help her condition more than the medications she takes. Deep down, John even believed that she wasn’t truly sick, yet he still prevented her from doing her work; writing. It seems that if John let his wife do what she loved, to write, that she would feel better, but he still advises her to take her medication. She thinks that her husband would think that is absurd that writing could make her feel better. Instead he makes her take cod liver oil and tonics and prevents her from eating rare meat or wine. He would not let her go visit her Cousins Henry and Julia either, which also may have helped her. John would keep telling her to heal herself and feel better but he wasn’t around much of the time and wasn’t helping her cause even further.

The way the entire story is written is also reminiscent of maybe journal, diary, or just small entries of personal comments. Some segments of paragraphs look like “chunks” out of maybe a diary to me.

The author uses great imagery to describe specific scenes, rooms, or areas in the story. A few examples would be “A delicious garden”,or “It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore.”  Another good example would be “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.” The wallpaper is described in intricate detail in some paragraphs, also adding her experiences or other personal problems into the mix. Most rooms and scenes are described as pleasant except for the nursery or kids room. The wording describes it as very dull, possibly having bad memories in it.

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