The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman

Essay by ChelzortronUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2008

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In Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" the narrator in the story is a prisoner in her own home due to being placed under the "resting cure." Gilman uses the themes of the insubordination of women, the importance of self esteem, the journal, and the wall paper to portray that the narrator is not crazy, but is sane. The narrator creates this imaginary world that only she can control, where she can exercise her creativity and not be silenced.

One of the themes Gilman uses is the insubordination of women in marriage. Women of this time period, the late 1800's, had no voice, and no control over anything. Men, on the contrary, like John in this story made all decisions for women, even if they are not the most wise. "Once married, women lost all individual rights, and their status depended upon that of their husband. According to the law, the woman now belonged to her husband.

Husbands retained control over their wives' assets, property, inheritance, children, and even their bodies." (Napolitano) John, the narrators husband, believes he is more superior, wise, and mature and often undermines his wife and laughs when she says things he believes is absurd such as when she thought the mansion was "...A haunted house"(421) and that it's "queer"(421). The narrator's husband forces her to be placed under the resting cure. She had no choice, because her husband is a man, and also a physician, he feels he has more authority over her life than she does on her own. The narrator would rather do things her way "Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good" (422). She writes in her journal to express herself, to have someone to talk to that wont judge her, but he doesn't...