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Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper Essay


The Yellow Wallpaper is a story of a woman's mental breakdown, which is shown through an imaginative conversation with wallpaper. The connection between the female narrator and the wallpaper reveals the inner condition of the narrator. Also it symbolically shows how women are oppressed in the society. The story can be considered as a feminist text as it reflects a woman's struggle against the patriarchal power structure.

Much of the story is centered on description of the yellow wallpaper (its striped off in great patches around the head board,) (the color is repellent, almost revolting a smoldering unclean yellow strangely faded by slow-turning sunlight) the woman's interaction with it. Although the story seems to be about a woman who is suffering from mental problem but if we study the story closely we will find that the story is actually a cry for freedom from the bindings of the patriarchal society. Reading the story it could easily be said that the story is trying to portray how women are oppressed in a male dominating society.

The story took place in a house, which is isolated from the town. The estate is surrounded with protective hedges and the main gate are always kept locked. The narrator thinks that the protective hedges and the locked gate have isolated the mansion from the whole world. In other words she has been isolated from everything. Initially the mansion where the narrator stays looks beautiful (the most beautiful place, it is quite alone, it makes me think of those English places you read about) to her but later as she starts to feel more isolated the house seems to look like a prison to her.

We find the narrator complaining to her husband that she is sick, but her husband who is a physician suggest that she is suffering temporary nervous depression and suggest that she should take complete rest. The narrator is especially asked not to use her imaginative power in writing (a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies) as she has a habit of maintaining a diary. The husband did not try to understand that through her writing she achieves mental relief. This is just another example of her husband

(a man) repressing his wifes true feelings. We can observe in the story when the women tries to tell her husband how she feels the husband stops her (he dont believe Im sick)and tell that she should not think so much and all she need is rest, Again repressing her true feelings

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