The Yellow Obsession Charlotte Perkin Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Essay by butterflystefHigh School, 12th gradeB+, November 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.7 2 reviews

Downloaded 112 times

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a short story about the imprisonment of a woman and how she is driven insane by the wallpaper in her room. The woman writes this story after being diagnosed with hysteria after giving birth to her baby in the early 1900's. Her husband moves them to a colonial mansion where she can recover. The woman becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper and she begins to act deranged.

The woman's husband thinks it is best for her to stay in the room that was formerly used as a nursery. It has yellow wallpaper which the narrator thinks is horrid. She describes it as, "The colour is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight." (Gilman, 1659). She becomes fascinated with the paper and its pattern.

The woman narrating the story is very fragile and grows more depressed as she must stay in this room.

Her husband, who is also a physician, thinks that she must rest all day in order to recover. She is not allowed to do anything that a normal wife would do. She asks her husband to renovate but he refuses since they will only be there for three months.

The wallpaper begins to consume her as her insanity deepens. The narrator writes, "This paper looks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had!" (Gilman, 1660). The paper is all that she can think about. The pattern becomes more frightening and tortures her. She hates the colour and it infuriates her. She begins to smell the wallpaper throughout the entire house. "It used to disturb me at first. I thought seriously of burning the house-to reach the smell." (Gilman,

1666). This quotation shows how fixated she has become on...