The Yellow Wallpaper

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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"The Yellow Wallpaper"� by Charlotte Perkins Gilman takes the reader on an adventure through a disturbed mind. The central character is a woman married to a doctor named John. This story is told in the first-person format and from the central character's point of view. Therefore, many topics are left to the interpretation of the reader and may not accurately depict what actually occurred or the emotions of the other characters.

The setting for this story is a perfect example of irony. The woman is suffering from a "nervous condition"� and the place her husband takes her to recover appears to be an abandoned insane asylum. She writes of bars on the windows and rings on the walls. The reader is left to question whether her husband was truly trying to help her recover or whether he wished to push her into the pits of insanity.

This couple has a child.

Although very little maternal interest in the child is shown. She states that if she and John had not used the room the baby would have been in the room with that horrible wallpaper. She also says the child is an adorable child and that she is grateful that Mary is able to take such good care of him as she simply cannot deal with him. In a detached sense she appears to care about this child but this cold form of caring does not coincide with the expectations society has for a mother and her child.

This journey begins with her stating that she simply has a "temporary nervous depression."� However, it becomes readily apparent that this is much more than "nervous depression."� She writes endlessly about the worrisome wallpaper and how the design seems to make no sense. She tries to follow it to a...