The Yellow Wallpaper

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Driving Mrs. Crazy "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was written in the late 1800's during the time when a woman's voice was muted by society. Gilman uses this short story as a way to portray how a woman is seen as insignificant for anything other than childbearing. The severity of the male's opinion of a female's role is taught by Gilman to be a failure. After reading Gilman's story, I have come to the conclusion that the obvious wallpaper was not her main reason for slipping into insanity. The narrator's husband, John intrigues me; his behavior and attitude toward his wife disgust me. He quickly assumes the role of a patronizing, controlling husband who allows his career as a doctor to abort his position as a caring and concerned husband. While the wallpaper seems to trap the narrator, John is the true cause of her captivity and eventual insanity.

In "The Yellow Wallpaper," "the dominant/submissive relationship between an oppressive husband and his submissive wife pushes her from depression into insanity" ("Dom./Sub."1). Gilman's narrator is seen as being someone trapped mentally and physically by her husband, which is evident from the beginning of the story (Korb 3). Small descriptions of her being neglected and ignored can be detected in many lines of the story. For instance, the narrator asks John if she can have a room downstairs that Wells 2 opens on the piazza, but he will not hear of it. This shows the reader that Gilman's narrator is striving for some space of her own, but the room that she desires does not have any room nearby for John to sleep. Instead of her requests being filled, John takes control and places her in the upstairs, a place where she is disconnected from...