Part 1: Retelling ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’
I watch a woman sitting in this room quickly scribbling words into her journal, she always seems to be in a big rush when she’s writing. Everytime someone comes into the room she quickly hides the journal away from them like it is forbidden.
One day her husband came in and said to her
“ You’ve got to stop focusing on you’re illness, It’s not helping you get any better, try to focus on something else” She responded “Your right, I need to take my mind off of it.”
Then something came through me like a surge, but it felt like a surge of restrictions.
The next day the she was just wandering around the room looking at things and writing about them, but when she came towards me it seemed like she kept looking at me, not sure what or who I was, but she knew I was there.
I could see the look in her face. It seemed like we both felt the same way restricted and trapped. Everytime I see this woman she seems to be in this room alone, without a person insight unless it’s her husband or the lady that seems to be doing all her housework while she follows her husbands resting rules.
She never stopped looking around the room as she wrote. It seemed like it irked her, like she couldn’t think what she wanted to think but had to focus on the furniture around her. But when she looked towards me she never stopped. She would stare a hole right through me and the longer she looked at me the more I felt I had a connection with her. I’ve watched this women sit in this room for weeks lonely and depressed, and the only times I see anyone coming into the room to talk to her is when they’re coming to tell her what to do, and what she’s doing is wrong. The longer she looked at me through these walls the more I realized that she’s not ill. She’s silenced by her oppressors, she isn’t allowed to express herself to anyone. She’s been sitting in this room all this time trying to make connections with me and oddly enough I feel her pain. But yet she is still confused when she stares at me not sure of what she sees.
I started to feel that this woman and I are very much the same person, i feel all the limitations that her husband has out on her and how it’s made her nervous illness worse. The room and her writing are the only sources of freedom that she has. The closest thing to an interactions with someone from the outside world is me.
But she still doesn’t realize that the world around her is ruining, and all of the things her husband has told her to do that would make her feel better has only made matters worse. There is no one that can tell her this but me.
I must get out, I need to help her become one with with her true self, and get rid of the restrictions , as for I too feel burrowed in the quicksand of her depression.
I try to show myself to her. I go around the house when no one else is around to grab her attention. I show her that I am trapped and I need her to break me free. I shake the patterns on the wall to show her that I am being caged in and the wallpaper keeps me from coming out.
Then she starts tearing off the wallpaper off, slowly breaking me free. Once she tore off the last strand of the wallpaper I was able to come out and be free, She looked at me with a shocked look and told me
“ You’re me”
And then I finally understood why I felt her pain. I am her lost self, I am the piece of her that she can’t express all of those built up emotions.
Then I tell her”We are finally together, and there isn’t anyone that can separate us again”
Then John came in and said”What is all that noise” and after a moment of looking into the room he fell unconscious and we tell him
“ We’ve got out at last, and we’ve pulled off all the wallpaper so you can put us back.”
The original version of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman shows the how the protagonist was not allowed any creative freedom or expression, and how that slowly drove her crazy to the point where her imagination took complete control of her. My retelling of the story is from the point of view of the woman she sees in the wallpaper, and show the reader how both characters change together.
In the original Iteration of the story the protagonist has many limitations or restrictions put on her by her husband and she can’t express her true thoughts to him. She asked him for some company and he denies her saying she needs rest and no social interactions with people and tells her to stop focusing on her illness and focus on other things. This is when my narrator is truly “birthed”. In my retelling of the story these restrictions keep making the woman in the wallpaper more and more noticable for the protagonist.
“Then something came through me like a surge, but it felt like a surge of restrictions.
The next day the she was just wandering around the room looking at things and writing
about them, but when she came towards me it seemed like she kept looking at me,
not sure what or who I was, but she knew I was there.”(My iteration of The Yellow Wallpaper)
In the original version the protagonist tries to show in her writings that her husbands rules for her resting aren’t making her any better and are hurting her more than helping her.
“I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house.”
(The Yellow Wallpaper, Charles Perkins Gilman)
The narrator interrupts her own train of thought because starts to remember John’s instructions. So she forces herself to focus on the things around her. The protagonist embraced her husband’s authority to the point that she imagines him telling her what to think.She cant help herself but feel bad so she stats focusing on the house instead of her situation, the protagonist slowly starts her slide into obsession and madness. The irony in this segment there is a lot of with the protagonist ‘condition’ that its both her depression and her condition in general within her oppressive marriage.
In my interation of the story the woman in wallpaper grows stronger and becomes more whole when the protagonist starts to become more and more affected by her oppressive marriage.
“I could see the look in her face. It seemed like we both felt the same way restricted and trapped. Everytime I see this woman she seems to be in this room alone, without a person insight unless it’s her husband or the lady that seems to be doing all her housework while she follows her husbands resting rules.”(My iteration of The Yellow Wallpaper)
She starts to feel more connected to the protagonist the more she looks into the wallpaper were the woman is trapped. She feels more and more what the protagonist feels when they stare at each other. After a while the woman in the wallpaper cannot watch the protagonist suffer anymore
“But she still doesn’t realize that the world around her is ruining, and all of the things her husband has told her to do that would make her feel better has only made matters worse. There is no one that can tell her this but me. I must get out, I need to help her become one with with her true self, and get rid of the restrictions , as for I too feel burrowed in the quicksand of her depression.”(My iteration of The Yellow Wallpaper)
The woman in the wallpaper makes the protagonist into breaking her free in where when she did she unleashed the side of her that she couldn’t show to anyone.
The original version and my iteration have two different narrators whos stories still revolve around the same protagonist. I tried to show a better connections between the protagonist and her lost self that has been trapped for a long time and that they show that when they are together they have a powerful meaningful voice something the protagonist didn’t have when she followed her husbands commands