Tag Archives: “The Yellow Wall-Paper”
“I get positively angry with the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere.”
The yellow wall paper by By Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I don’t feel as if it was worth while to turn my hand over for anything, and I’m getting dreadfully fretful and querulous. I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time.
The narrator used that word to express how she was getting annoyed and about to complain but she cried started to cry
: the feeling that people express when they criticize and laugh at someone or something in an insulting way.
The Yellow wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins, Towards end of story
Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor. It sticks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it! All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision!
Word reuse with meaning
….waddling fungus growths just shreik with scorn….
the framework of a bed on which the mattress is placed.
THE Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman The 13th paragraph
…He said that after the wall-paper was changed it would be the heavy (bedstead) , and then the barred windows…
…was changed changed it would be heavy (bed frame)….
“The Yellow Wall-Paper” And “The Cottagette”
In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, it talked about how a husband and wife moved to a new place to live because of the wife’s health. In the house she spots a wallpaper, and every night she would feel uneasy because how it looked and felt something was wrong with it. I feel that the wallpaper symbolizes herself. For example she said “a night in any kind of light, in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!”(p65) and “By daylight she is subdued, quiet. I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still.”(p65), because at night she would freak out and complain to her husband that the wallpaper is bother her and something is weird about it. In the morning she would be calm and quiet that nothing was going on. Another example would be when she said she saw a women behind it. I feel like the women is her because she said that at night the wallpaper would become bars and in the story she is trapped in the room and can’t go anywhere because of her health. So when she ripped the wallpaper down on the day when she was going to leave, showed that she was finally set free from being confined in that room.
In “The Cottagette” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, started off by Malda who was getting love advice from her friend Lois since she was married before, but now divorced. Lois said “but what they want to marry is a homemaker”, telling her that Mr. Matthews would love her if she does the chores around the house. So then she started cooking for him, but from all the cooking and cleaning she never got time to do what she really wanted to do which was draw. So one day he took her out to a picnic and told her to stop cooking and go back to doing what she loved, that he would still love her even though she stopped with the chores.
One thing I wanted to point out in the story when it said “Then Lois unfolded her plan. She had been married, –unhappily married, in her youth; that was all over and done with years ago; she had told me about it long since; and she said she did not regret the pain and loss because it had given her experience, She had her maiden name again-and freedom. She was so fond of me she wanted to give me the benefit of her experience–without the pain.”(p50), reminded me of “A Story Of An Hour” because they were both similar in a way. Mrs. Mallard figured out what freedom was when she found out her husband died and that she was single again. Lois on the other hand found freedom by getting a divorce because the marriage was unsuccessful. Both women faced pain and and loss, but they found freedom and also got their maiden names back.
- Misconstrued verb– to fail to understand the true or actual meaning of via Merriam-Webster.com
- Misconstrued in the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charotte Perkins Gilman, page 69, paragraph 7, sentence 2.
- “Besides I wouldn’t do it. Of course not. I know well enough that a step like that is improper and might be misconstrued”
- When this term is used, the narrator is tearing the wall paper off the wall, and describing how angry she is. She’s so angry at that time that she contemplates jumping out the window, but tells herself that would be improper and misconstrued.
Jane Vs John
“The Yellow Wall-Paper” and “The Husband’s Side of Life”
First person narration is usually the most detailed and informativeform of writing. With this narration you get inside a characters mind and feel their emotions. “The Yellow Wall-Paper” was written in first person point of view narration everything Jane saw and felt, we saw and felt as if we were right next to her seeing the woman inside the yellow wall paper. The retelling “The Husbands View on Life” was written in the first person narration of John, Jane’s husband. We saw how John viewed the wallpaper. We became aware of John’s feelings towards his wife. He loved her and wanted to save her. Only in first person narration we can get most of our questions answered.
In “The Yellow Wall-Paper” Jane comes across a woman trapped inside, “by daylight she is subdued”. Jane sees a world within the wallpaper, she knows it’s ugly but to her it’s full of life. During the day when the sun is exposed and everyone is awake the women in the wallpaper hides in between the patterns and at nightfall she creeps around learning the patterns. Jane is avoiding her family she sleeps during the day and uses all her energy analyzing the wallpaper at night. Jane becomes the wallpaper. On the last night it’s just Jane and the wall paper. She is aware that she is the only person that can set herself free, she destroyed the wallpaper and freed herself.
Then in “The Husband’s View of Life” John sees an ugly old tarnished wallpaper that has uneven patterns, “there’s no beauty in the room”. John thought he figured out why Jane has become so obsessed with the wallpaper. He wished he had listened to her and redecorated or relocated to another room. Maybe she would’ve been the Jane he once knew and not the Jane who sleeps during the day and alive at night. John was finally relieved, it was their last night in the estate, maybe Jane will get better at home, he needed her to get well for their son’s sake, but when he went to get her he saw something else she was yellow. She was the yellow wallpaper. He saw her as the wallpaper he was afraid and had a heart attack, she was free and he became controlled.
The wallpaper for Jane symbolizes a life that only she can see and relate to. With first person point of view we secretly know that she wanted to keep what she found in the wallpaper to herself, “and I am determined that nobody shall find it out but myself”. Jane felt as if she is the only person that can rescue the woman and set her free. For John the wallpaper is just that a hideous wall décor, that he wished he had changed. John wasn’t home often because he wanted to give Jane her space, “at home I don’t want to be in Jane’s way”. He let us know that he loved his wife and wasn’t avoiding her, he only wanted her to progress at her own pace without any pressure with his presence. John couldn’t wait to get his wife as far away from that room as possible, when he went to get her it was too late. He saw she was the wallpaper.
In conclusion with first person narration we are given access to details that are given only to the readers. Jane saw herself in the wallpaper and knew only she can free herself. John saw a yellow wallpaper that controlled his wife and he couldn’t find a way to help her. Jane finally escaped the wallpaper and john became lost in it. John loved Jane and he tried to save her, but the only person that could’ve saved Jane was Jane.
On this peaceful morning, I look out at the grounds of the cottage that I hope will be the sanctuary that not only Jane will benefit from, but where I will be able to recover the woman I married. “My beautiful, charismatic Jane.” Since the birth of our son, Jane has slowly slipped into a diluted version of her once graceful and grounded being. Her warmth and charm have been replaced with a simmering melancholia, combined with small outbursts of nervousness and weepiness. Surely, this temporary condition would pass with some rest, both physically and mentally, for Jane had an active imagination. It was one of the many facets of her personality that had besotted me from the very beginning. The warm air and atmosphere will surely revitalize her strength, and snap her out of this temporary whim of emotions.
Since we have been here, it seems that rest is not on Jane’s agenda since she seems to have developed a preoccupation with the wallpaper. Lately, every time I look over at her, I see her looking quizzically at the walls. She has becomes fixated on the paper. She is jumpy and skittish, but she does her best to deflect any uncertainty in her quiet demeanor. Like a sweet child, she scoffs and pouts about the state of the house. I do my best to not indulge her whims, and reassure her that she is merely looking for distractions. She should be focusing her thoughts on resting and doing light exercise, but absolutely no writing. I feel that it adds to her whims of her strange caprice. For heaven’s sake, I am a doctor and know how to handle her over exhaustion and need for bit of tranquility. I feel that I have done a fine job at picking the perfect sanctuary. Doesn’t she realize that I know best?
She insists on being social and having more stimulus, but that would just make matters worse and prolong her state.
In fact, a few nights past, she mentioned that she felt something, that there was a strange presence that made her feel unsettled. As she said this, I noticed that she was standing by the window. I laugh at her girlish silliness and walk over, “My darling girl, the window is open and you feel a draught, not the presence of ghosts or goblins”. I kiss her cheek and close the window.
Instead of laughing with me, she looks agitated, scoffs and leaves the room. I don’t remember during our courtship when she ever displayed anything close to this unattractive and impatient behavior, but I must do my best as a doctor, and husband, to remember that this is all do to with the fact that she needs rest, and surely her mind and disposition will recover to give me back my sweet Jane.
I am careful to remind her that we have come here for her repose, and that she must be careful to follow my instructions. She smiles meekly when I remind her to have perfect rest and take as much air as she can get. I can see how much she is trying, but she needs to give herself that extra push. I fear that is she doesn’t, she will never be able to enjoy the full benefits of being both wife and mother.
Part of me begins to resent the unnatural order of our current situation. I find plenty of love and empathy for my beautiful Jane, but this unexpected burden weighs on me at times. I had envisioned, quiet, pleasant evenings at home. An actual home where I did not have to think and fret, but that I would be able to enjoy the advantages of domesticity. Instead, I find myself being both husband and wife. Not even our sweet cherub is enough to incline her to take hold of her natural vocation.
But instead of working towards recovering her strength she focuses on the wallpaper in the house. Her fixation on this paper is somewhat perplexing. I agree that it isn’t the most attractive of patterns and hues, but we are only her for a short while, and for her much needed repose. I wish that she would engage in meaningful conversation about the future and our son instead of worrying about something so silly and inconsequential. I give myself over to my work and take care not to lose myself to whims as Jane has, for what would become of us! My work is my one salvation and tranquility at the moment. As much as I try not to, I take on more work because it has become my only peace. I feel guilty to harbor these feelings and remember to whisper sweet words and show her much kindness.
If she doesn’t recover soon, she must go to Weir Mitchell for extensive treatment for her exhaustion and nervousness. The look of horror that overshadowed her face at the mere suggestion broke my heart even further, but at the same time gave me hope! Jane’s insistence that she did not require such treatment made me realize that she is slowly returning to her sound mind, for surely if she were truly on the verge of hysteria she would not protest with such conviction.
I take care to reassure her of my love , and give her encouragement to fight against her whims. She must use more self control to drive away this fretfulness that surrounds her at times. Whenever her impulses start to get the best of her, I must act firm and remind her that she must now begin to come out of this stupor of exhaustion and begin to resume life as we knew it. At times I wonder if my coddling has done more harm than good, and if she is taking extra time to recover because she has become accustomed to living a lofty existence. If this is her fear; I wish that she would not worry. Surely there will still be times that I will still indulge my silly goose.
But no sooner than I start to think that she may be coming around, her queerness over the paper begins to take a concerning turn. I see a shift in her demeanor. I begin to study her more and more. She begins to look gaunt and tired , as is clear by the dark circles under her eyes and the pallor of her skin. Even at the sight of this, I must continue to work, and maybe with some distance from me she will begin to see that this ridiculousness is starting to drive a wedge between us. I decide not to make the journey home after visiting my patient and stay overnight. A night apart might be just the trick to knock her out of her stupor and make her realize that it is time for both of us to take our rightful places.
Upon my return, I feel optimistic and begin to think that this remedy might do the trick. Surely, Jane has realized the severity of the situation and have come to her senses. As I walk in, I do not see anyone. Could it be that she is with the baby? Could her maternal instincts have finally taken its natural hold over her, and she is finally ready to take part in our family? I could feel the excitement and relief bubbling inside me. I check the nursery, and alas, no one is there. As I proceed to go downstairs I hear something coming from our bedroom. A loud ripping sound, and grunting. It sounds like Jane. I go to open the door, but it is locked. “Jane darling, open the door”, my heart starts to pound in my chest. She tells me to go and get the key from under the plaintain leaf downstairs in a voice that attempts to sound calm, but I hear the pitch of hysteria that she tries to hide. I start pounding on the door and demand that she open. “Open this door, what the hell is going on in there!” I hear her giggle and I run downstairs. I frantically retrieve the key, and dash back up, and finally manage to open the door. The sight before me frightens, and tears down all the hope and love in my heart in an instant. I realize as a I look into our room and see Jane appear more like a deranged animal, with wild hair and eyes, and the wallpaper torn down from the walls. She is screaming almost incoherently. “I’ve got out at last”, In spit of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”In that moment I realize every lie that I told myself, I remember each time that I turned my cheek to her oddities that were telling of something darker and deeper, but I did it because I loved her so! “Am I the one who let my beautiful Jane vanish into this wretched soul I see before me?” As I go to carefully approach her, I feel my weight unsteady, and my vision blurry. I realize what is happening and as my thoughts and coherence is leaving me, my last thoughts are, “What have I done to my beautiful Jane?”
In-class discussion of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and “The Cottagette”
In Women and Economics (1898), Charlotte Perkins Gilman argued against kitchens in homes–and with them, the housework involved–as a way to free women from the domestic sphere:
Take the kitchens out of the houses, and you leave rooms which are open to any form of arrangement and extension; and the occupancy of them does not mean “housekeeping.” In such living, personal character and taste would flower as never before; the home of each individual would be at last a true personal expression; and the union of individuals in marriage would not compel the jumbling together of all the external machinery of their lives,–a process in which much of the delicacy and freshness of love, to say nothing of the power of mutual rest and refreshment, is constantly lost. The sense of lifelong freedom and self-respect and of the peace and permanence of one’s own home will do much to purify and uplift the personal relations of life, and more to strengthen and extend the social relations. The individual will learn to feel himself an integral part of the social structure, in close, direct, permanent connection with the needs and uses of society.
This is especially needed for women, who are generally considered, and who consider themselves, mere fractions of families, and incapable of any wholesome life of their own. The knowledge that peace and comfort may be theirs for life, even if they do not marry,–and may be still theirs for life, even if they do,–will develope a serenity and strength in women most beneficial to them and to the world. It is a glaring proof of the insufficient and irritating character of our existing form of marriage that women must be forced to it by the need of food and clothes, and men by the need of cooks and housekeepers. We are absurdly afraid that, if men or women can meet these needs of life by other means, they will cheerfully renounce the marriage relation. And yet we sing adoringly of the power of love!
In reality, we may hope that the most valuable effect of this change in the basis of living will be the cleansing of love and marriage from this base admixture of pecuniary interest and creature comfort, and that men and women , eternally drawn together by the deepest force in nature, will be able at last to meet on a plane of pure and perfect love. We shame our own ideals, our deepest instincts, our highest knowledge, by this gross assumption that the noblest race on earth will not mate, or, at least, not mate monogamously, unless bought and bribed through the common animal necessities of food and shelter, and chained by law and custom.
What do we think of this?