The Yellow Wallpaper Themes
He demands domestic routine, as no action can be taken without his prior authorization. Furthermore, there is a psychological mind-twisting goal revolving around John actions. He is cautious to talk to his wife in a careful and loving manner as distracting her from his true intentions. He justifies his tyrannical control over his wife by stating repeatedly that he only wants what’s best for her.
Moreover, the setting in “The Yellow Wallpaper” plays an essential aspect in the submission of the narrator’s state of mind.
Wilson makes a detailed fact evident; at first glance, the place in which the characters are residing appears to be tranquil and soothing. In actuality this couldn’t be further from the truth, this is a place of confinement. In fact, the new mother expresses satisfaction in observing the land that surrounds them. The house resides in an isolated location away from other neighbors and society. Similarly, Korb comments the new mother is restricted in more than one-way.
Aside from being trapped in her home and in her mind, she is unable to interact with the world around her. Another aspect to consider is the abnormal characteristics such as a secured bed to the floor, and the bars on the baby’s room window; this demonstrates a state of imprisonment. The setting of the short story reinforces the mysterious feelings and attitudes expressed by the narrator.
Similarly, the symbolism of the yellow wallpaper delivers a comparable account of the mental status in which the narrator found herself. The most mentioned and described symbolism is the actual wallpaper. Johnson positions, the protagonist initially views the wallpaper as hideous and unappealing. As time passes by the new mother, alter her perspective and starts to visualize the wallpaper as something she must interpret. The restricted-isolated woman finds comfort as well as entertainment in tracing around the rips and damages encompassing the wallpaper. Because of her confinement and little to no mental stimulation, the narrator begins to imagine a woman trapped in the midst of the wallpaper. Wilson elaborates life like characteristics begin to be associated with the wallpaper. Smells, eyes, and speech are all human like features that begin to become relevant to the isolated women. The wallpaper began to take on the restricting type of life the narrator herself was living.
Correspondingly, a gothic like theme is uncovered in the midst of reading “The Yellow Wallpaper.” It contributes to the mental breakdown the narrator experiences. First Wilson acknowledges the house the family inhabits is three miles away from the closest city. This foreshadowing detail sets the tone of the story as the house represents loneliness and sadness. Likewise, many psychological influences presented in the text allude to the realism of gothic fiction. For example, the narrators journeys through a difficult nervous breakdown. Horror is apparent when she begins to visualize a woman trapped inside the wallpaper. Suspense is evident as she expresses her suspicions towards John and Jenny and fears they might figure out what’s underneath the wallpaper. A supernatural theme is offered, one causing a mix of emotions. Korb references in this time in history the narrator’s behavior was speculated to be abnormal conduct and unforgiving. Johnson adds the gothic theme is further enhanced by the narrator through a subject of confinement and rebellion, one that is uncommon for women of this time.
After analyzing different topics in “The Yellow Wallpaper” it is evident the characters surrounding the narrator aided in her creating a second self in order to satisfy her emptiness and desire to regain control of her life. Gilman depicts this short story from experiences that she personally endured. Women were thought to be weak and sensitive. On the other hand man were thought to be all knowing and wise.
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