The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman / The actions of a minor character , her husband John

Essay by ernmHigh School, 12th grade February 2004

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"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story set in the late nineteenth century about a woman going insane. It begins with the narrator being diagnosed with temporary nervous depression even though it soon becomes apparent that she has post-natal depression. She is prescribed with rest and is soon forced to stay in a room with nothing to do but stare at the yellow wallpaper. This wallpaper and the subtle actions of her husband make her go insane. It ends spectacularly with the wife overthrowing her dominating husband but only with it costing her , her sanity. The actions of John affect the whole story. The tone , plot and Johns personality show this.

John may love his wife but because he is a physician he treats her more like a patient rather than his wife. "John is a physician and perhaps -- (I would not say it to a living soul , of course , but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind) -- perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster."

The repetition of the word 'perhaps' and making it in italics emphasises that it may not be true but her repetition of it shows that she is making the reader think about it and I believe she is using reverse psychology to make the reader believe this. By creating this atmosphere of lack of trusting this makes the reader wonder whether we can actually trust the narrator and should we trust her views of John? I think that she does not trust her husband and since we never find out the point of view of John we have no choice but to trust the narrator. One of the main and very important reasons for the...