The Importance of Communication
John and his wife, (Aria) are staying in a colonial mansion for a short period of time. John is a physician and doesn’t believe that his wife is sick, although she feels as if she is. Aria always thinks about her illness which sometimes makes her feel exhausted, so John informed her that the worst thing she could do was think about her condition. Instead of thinking about her condition she focuses on the aspects of the house.
The house is three miles from the village and stands well from the road. She describes it as the most beautiful place and very quiet. The house has a large and shady garden full of box-boarded paths and lined with grape covered arbors. There were also greenhouses, but they were all destroyed. Although the house had delightful aspects. She felt as if there was something strange within the house.
The first room that they had moved into wasn’t satisfying her, so they moved into the nursery which was more spacious, airy, contained more windows, and more sunshine. The paper on the wall was stripped off in great patches and in bad condition. The color was a very dull, unclean, repulsive yellow. Aria was quite fond of the room except for the wallpaper. Since they were only staying in the house for three months John didn’t see any reason to change the wallpaper.
She informed him that she wasn’t comfortable with the wallpaper but instead of getting rid of it he convinced her that it was fine, so she stopped complaining so she wouldn’t make him uncomfortable, but she still had the feeling in the back of her head.
Usually when she’s alone she takes walks in the garden and sits on the porch. She’s starting to actually love the room that she’s in despite the wallpaper. The wallpaper is usually the one thing that stays on her mind throughout the day. She spends time analyzing the wallpaper and finding out the pattern and seeing how the wallpaper connects diagonally and goes horizontally. She often does this until she is exhausted, but it makes her feel relieved.
As the days go by the patterns and shapes starts to get clearer to her. She realizes that the shapes are the same only very numerous. She then starts to see woman creeping out from behind the pattern. She now starts to freak out and tries to tell her husband about the problem, but he convinced her that she is getting better and recovering from her illness when in all reality she is not.
Each day and night, his wife is examining the wallpaper. There’s things there that no one else seems to notice but her, like how the outside pattern is florid arabesque, which reminds her of a fungus, and even when it changes when the light changes. She even compares it to an interminable string of toadstools, budding and sprouting in endless convolutions.
She notices how when it’s the night time, and the moonlight, candle light, and lamplight come on, the lady behind the wallpaper is completely clear. She was 100% sure that there was a lady there and indeed she was trapped.
She now recognizes that the pattern on the wall actually moves and the women behind the wall is actually the one shaking it. She sometimes thinks that there’s only one woman or more than one and she’s crawling all over to shake it.
John feels as is Aria is improving with her mental health but what he doesn’t know is that it is worsening.
John ends up walking into the room with the yellow wallpaper all over the floor to find out that his wife has let the woman free then later passes out.
The Yellow Wallpaper vs. The Importance of Communication
The text I chose to use in my project is, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the original copy of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrative point of view is first person, so I chose to rewrite my version in the third person omniscient point of view. I wanted to make the audience get the general idea of the story which is why I chose third person omniscient to get into the heads of all the characters to really portray how they felt throughout the story. Although in the original version of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator conveys dominance in a relationship but in my retelling, I use a third person omniscient narrative to highlight the importance of undivided attention in a marriage.
In the beginning of my retelling, I decided to keep up the same order of the story. I started off with introducing John and his wife and stated her sickness and the aspects of the house just like in the original version. “John and his wife, (Aria) are staying in a colonial mansion for a short period of time. John is a physician and doesn’t believe that his wife is sick, although she feels as if she is. Aria always thinks about her illness which sometimes makes her feel exhausted, so John informed her that the worst thing she could do was think about her condition. Instead of thinking about her condition she focuses on the aspects of the house.” In this quote, (in my retelling), I narrowed down the important parts of the beginning of the story. “It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer. A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity, — but that would be asking too much of fate! Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it. Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted? John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage. John is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in ﬁgures. John is a physician, and perhaps— (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)— perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster. You see, he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do? 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 to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So, I will let it alone and talk about the house.” Now in this quote in the original copy, the author goes into description on how John and his wife moves into a house for a few months and how she feels about the house. The similarities with this quote and my quote is how I focused on the wife having an illness and John basically not dwelling on it and denying that she is sick.
“Usually when she’s alone she takes walks in the garden and sits on the porch. She’s starting to actually love the room that she’s in despite the wallpaper. The wallpaper is usually the one thing that stays on her mind throughout the day. She spends time analyzing the wallpaper and finding out the pattern and seeing how the wallpaper connects diagonally and goes horizontally. She often does this until she is exhausted, but it makes her feel relieved. As the days go by the patterns and shapes starts to get clearer to her. She realizes that the shapes are the same only very numerous. She then starts to see woman creeping out from behind the pattern.” Throughout my retelling, I focused more on the description of the house and the women in the wallpaper. I wanted to show my audience the reason as to why John’s wife was so hypnotized by the house which led her to her breaking point in the story. I didn’t want to focus on her illness as much as the author did in the original version or the dominance in that marriage. “Dear John! He loves me very dearly and hates to have me sick. I tried to have a real earnest reasonable talk with him the other day and tell him how I wished he would let me go and make a visit to Cousin Henry and Julia. But he said I wasn’t able to go, nor able to stand it after I got there; and I did not make out a very good case for myself, for I was crying before I had ﬁnished. It is getting to be a great effort for me to think straight. Just this nervous weakness, I suppose. And dear John gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed and sat by me and read to me till he tired my head. He said I was his darling and his comfort and all he had, and that I must take care of myself for his sake and keep well. He says no one but myself can help me out of it, that I must use my will and self-control and not let my silly fancies run away with me” In the original story the author talks about her having the illness and her husband basically telling her what to do in a way of dominance. She basically respects everything her husband tells her because she trusts him.
In conclusion, in the original version, the author uses a first-person narrative and in my retelling, I used the third person omniscient narrative to give my audience a different perspective of the story.