Faces on the Wall: "The Yellow Wall Paper" The husband's intention is for his wife to get well, however, his way of doing so drives her to depression and insanity.

Essay by trak34starUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, May 2002

download word file, 1 pages 5.0

Downloaded 109 times

Faces On The Wall

In Charolette Perkins Gillman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" it is evident that good intentions do not always produce good results. I am making the assumption that because the time this story takes place is in an era in which such practices seen in this story were considered beneficial, that John's desire for his wife is for her to get well. Accordingly, he secludes her to a dreary room with only yellow wallpaper to look at that "is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing." (209) Rather than help the narrator, the tactic used drives the woman to depression and insanity.

Though she would rather stay in the much more comfortable room downstairs,

"John would not hear of it." The room she is forced to stay in does not help her mental

health, but conversely, serves as an element of repression.

The bars on the window assist

in making her feel imprisoned. "The windows are barred for little children, and there are

rings and things in the walls." (203) The yellow wallpaper in the room is atrocious and

encourages negative creativity. Throughout the story, the wall serves as an enemy to the

narrator's wellness and constantly disturbs her. She tells of the pattern having no

organization to it, and annoyingly enough all she can do is stare at it. "It is dull enough

to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke

study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly

commit suicide." (203)

Though the narrator desires social stimulation, John's isolation approach causes

insanity. She is not allowed to see her baby or people on the outside world. This goes

against natural laws. Society provides a...