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The Yellow Wallpaper

Critical Analysis Essay on The Yellow Wallpaper

❶Highlight and make notes on anything that captures your attention. Next, utilize evidence from the piece to support your opinion.

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Women should have their decisions respected, and no one should dismiss their ideas. Instead, ideas should be shared and debated, regardless of gender. Moreover, men should support women as equals rather than belittle them. They are not supposed to be anywhere near the political arena or in the public eye. Instead, they should remain in their homes. This view has led to women fighting for their rights through creating women movements to fight for their place in the society.

Tips on Writing a Critical Essay over a Literary Piece First, it is important to understand that a critical essay is not a criticism of the literary piece or of its author. It is your reaction or response to the piece. Begin by reading the piece several times, if possible. Highlight and make notes on anything that captures your attention.

Then analyze why that interests you. What is the significance? What is the writer trying to achieve? Then, create a thesis statement that reflects your opinion about some aspect of the literary piece.

Next, utilize evidence from the piece to support your opinion. First-person narrative also allows the readers to sympathize with her. Giving the reader a sense of pity for the narrator. One of the more significant symbols used in the story is the yellow wallpaper. The wallpaper depicts the state of mind of the narrator. Even though the narrator gives a detailed description of the wallpaper, it still remains mysterious throughout the story.

At first the ripped, soiled, and unclean color seem offensive. After the narrator stares at it for hours, she sees a ghostly sub-pattern, only visible in certain light. As the sub-pattern comes into focus there seems to be a desperate woman crawling and stooping trying to find a way out from behind the bars of the main pattern that resembles a cage. The narrator sees heads of women being strangled as they try to escape out of the cage.

With no way of showing her feelings and no way of escape, the narrator controls her disappointment and her rage eventually giving way to insanity. This was the room she was confined in. This room was possibly used to represent the way nineteenth-century people viewed women, as children. The nursery contained barred windows which could be viewed as the emotional, social, and intellectual prison women of that era were kept in.

Rather than simply labeling the narrator a madwoman at the story's close, we might view her behavior as an expression of long-suppressed rage: This reading accounts for two elements of the story usually ignored: As in many of Poe's tales, this seemingly incongruous humor serves only to accentuate the Gothic terror of the narrator's situation The narrative focus of "The Yellow Wallpaper'' moves relentlessly inward, detailing the narrator's gradual absorption into the Gothic world of psychic chaos and imaginative freedom; but Gilman controls her heroine's deepening subjectivity through repetition, irony, parodic humor, and allegorical patterns of imagery.

The two worlds of the story—the narrator's husband and sister-in-law's daylight world of masculine order and domestic routine, and her own subjective sphere of deepening imaginative insight—are kept clearly focused and distinct.

Most important, Gilman reminds the reader frequently that her narrator is a habitual writer for whom ''The Yellow Wallpaper" is a kind of diary, an accurate record of her turbulent inward journey. Drawing on Gilman's experience of post-partum depression and breakdown, the story is far more than an indictment of nineteenth-century attitudes toward women and an account of one woman's incipient psychosis.

Gilman made her heroine a writer for purposes of art, not autobiography, and the story as a whole describes a woman attempting to save herself through her own writing, to transform what she calls "dead paper" into a vibrant Gothic world of creative dreamwork and self-revelation. Two of the story's major structural devices are its contrasting of the husband's daylight world and his wife's nocturnal fantasy, and the religious imagery by which she highlights the liberating and redemptive qualities of her experience.

When the story opens, she acknowledges that the idea of their rented summer house as a It seems no accident that important recent novels have been Tom Morrison's Beloved , about the power of a sacrificed child over her mourning mother's life, and Marilyn French's Her Mother's Daughter , a major fiction about four generations of women, linked together in their martyred and futile lives through the mother-daughter bond.

For at least these hundred years, since Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote her controversial and relentlessly accurate "The Yellow Wallpaper," women writers have confronted the basic conflicts of women's lives: It was also adapted to film in a made-for-television production by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Weir Mitchell, the leading authority on this illness. Mitchell's rest cure, prescribed primarily to women, consisted of committing the patient to bed for a period of months, during which time the patient was fed only mild foods and deprived of all mental, physical, and social activity—reading, writing, and painting were explicitly prohibited. Gilman once stated that the rest cure itself nearly drove her insane. She and her husband John, who is a doctor, have rented a house in the country, in which she is to take a rest cure.

The narrator is confined to an upstairs room that was once a child's nursery but has been stripped of all furnishings and decor, except for a bed that is nailed to the floor, bars over the windows, and a garish yellow wallpaper.

She describes the color and pattern of the wallpaper in an assortment of distasteful ways. The narrator becomes more obsessed with the wallpaper and begins to imagine that a woman is trapped behind it. The story's finale finds the narrator creeping around the edges of the room and tearing the wallpaper in ragged sheets from the walls in an attempt to free the woman she believes to be trapped behind it. When her husband unlocks the door and finds his wife and the room in these conditions, he is appalled.

The narrator's confinement to her home and her feelings of being dominated and victimized by those around her, particularly her husband, is an indication of the many domestic limitations that society places upon women. The yellow wallpaper itself becomes a symbol of this oppression to a woman who feels trapped in her roles as wife and mother.

Gilman's story further expresses a concern for the ways in which society discourages women of creative self-expression. The narrator's urge to express herself through writing is stifled by the rest cure.

Yet, the creative impulse is so strong that she assumes the risk of secretly writing in a diary, which she hides from her husband. While the narrator is clearly suffering from some kind of psychological distress at the beginning of the story, her mental state is worsened by her husband's medical opinion that she confine herself to the house.

The inadequacy of the patriarchial medical profession in treating women's mental health is further indicated by the narrator's fear of being sent to the famous Dr.

Weir, proponent of the rest cure treatment. Nearly all of these critics acknowledge the story as a feminist text written in protest of the negligent treatment of women by a patriarchal society.

Furthermore, the story has sparked lively critical discussion and ongoing debate over the symbolic meaning of the wallpaper, the extent to which the story represents an effective feminist statement, and the implications of the story's ending. The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader: Many and many a reader has asked that. When the story first came out, in the New England Magazine about , a Boston physician made protest in The Transcript.

Such a story ought not to Gilbert, Sandra, and Susan Gubar. As if to comment on the unity of all these points—on, that is, the anxiety-inducing connections between what women writers tend to see as their parallel confinements in texts, Flynn and Patrocinio P.

Johns Hopkins University Press, UMI Research Press, We cannot discount pain but the least bearable pain is the husband's cry of anger:


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[In the following essay originally published in , Haney-Peritz asserts that the Feminist Press edition of “The Yellow Wallpaper” functioned to disrupt and displace the line of male critical response .

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Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays - Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper - Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper Throughout history people have always seemed to follow what notions that were .

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Join Now Log in Home Literature Essays The Yellow Wallpaper The Yellow Wallpaper Essays Responding to the Wallpaper Rebecca Edwards The Yellow Wallpaper "The pattern is torturing. You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well underway . “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a popular literary piece for critical analysis, especially in women’s gender studies. It focuses on several inequalities in .

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is gothic psychological short story written in journal-style with first-person narrative. Other elements used in the story are symbols, irony, foreshadowing, and imagery. “The Yellow Wallpaper is about . The Yellow Wallpaper is a feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins- Gilman. The significance of the story is astounding as it explores into the basic issues of a woman's place in society, public perception of mental illness, and feminism in the 19th century.