"The Yellow Wallpaper" Essay.

Essay by JnfrsLilSisterHigh School, 11th grade November 2005

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Looking back at women's role in society, women in the 1800s were usually portrayed as inferior and submissive to their husbands. "The Yellow Wallpaper," written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a short story about a woman who is psychologically ill and her husband's treatment of her. The story opens up with the family moving into a summer home to cure the narrator's illness. The story presents itself to the reader with the idea that the house is more of a cage than a home that a person would feel comfortable living in. The narrator is in the present predicament of oppression, which symbolizes the oppression of women in the past society; this effect is represented by intricate depictions in the story such as the house, her room, her husband John and the wallpaper.

Generally a house is taken as a symbol of protection and security where a person can express themselves.

However, in this situation, it is a place where the narrator does not wish to remain. Much like women of the past, the narrator is confined and restricted in her options. While she does acknowledge that the house is beautiful, she still feels that "there is something queer about it" (Gilman 768). The narrator basically feels imprisoned due to the structure of the house and its surroundings. "...There are hedges and walls and gates that lock, and lots of separate little houses for the gardeners and people...I never saw such a garden-large and shady, full of box-bordered paths..." (Gilman 768). Everything is positioned more like a prison than a home where someone can lead a normal life. The hedges are built like walls and the walls can be interpreted as walls of her prison. This view of the natural walls is experienced by the narrator from...