Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper.
How can I start this? I would start by saying I really enjoy this story. As I was reading, I notice how the narrator doesn’t have a name she is just a voice and I get the impression that her needs is not being taken seriously by her husband and because of that I believed that has harmed her a lot more than helped. I feel that had he just listen to her once he may have found out a couple of things about her and maybe could have saved her from harming herself. Like, for example, When she told him that she is sick, he did not believe her. I assume it is because he is a physician and that he believes illness is something physical and not mental, and that he may know better than her( who is not a doctor), what is wrong with her. She express this when she said “John is practical in the extreme”………..”and he scoff’s openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures.” [first page, 6 paragraph] She notes that this one of the reason that she does “not get well faster.” [first page, 7 paragraph] I feel that since the narrator is a woman, that her husband and her brother (a physician), both believe that she is naturally inferior to them and since that they are men of high standing that they know more than her about what is wrong with her. There is no need for her to tell them what she is experiencing because they all know it Just “Hysteria”.
As I continued to read, I can see how obedient she is to her husband. She takes all of the “phosphates or phosphites…..and tonics” [first page 9 paragraph] that he gives to her. She seems to have a idea of what she needs when she said “Personally I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. In my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus.” [first page 10 and 12 paragraph]. But, she remembers what John said “the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition” [first page, 12 paragraph]. I feel for the wife of John having to be constantly told each time she have a negative feeling or if she she express a want and if it not something he thinks she needs he will tell her not to think of those things for they are bad for her and to focus on getting better.
I believe because he dismissed most of her thoughts about her illness and controlled her environment added more stress and the fact that when she asked him can she be in the room “downstairs that on open on the piazza” John want her to go up to the nursery. I notice how she keeps calling that room a “nursery” as to play on how she felt and how her husband treats her as if she cannot control or even think for herself. Like a child. The room even have bars on the window. As I said before, if he had listened to his wife he would have known that she was not getting better being locked up in that room. Instead of laughing at his wife when she told him about the yellow wall paper, he should had “repaper” the room. Instead he said to her “You know the place is doing you good….and really, dear I don’t care to renovate the house for a three months rental.” [second page, 19 paragraph]. which clearly demonstrates just how much he was in denial of her illness and how he treated her like a child.
I notice that he was spending more time out of the house and left his sister “Jennie” in care of her, at the same time he kept his wife up at the top of the house as to hide her away, and ignore her even more. Telling her to focus on healing herself. I believe that by him not being there, leaving her for long periods of time, even restricting her from mental simulation, I mean he didn’t even want her to write; all of this has contribute to her metal illness making it become something that changed her from being a sane person to a insane person who eventually hung herself.
I want to add that, to me, that by losing her mind, she had gained a voice because she finally got freedom. She was finally able to express herself to a man who only thought of her as a child.Print this page