Charlotte Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper  » Books  »
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  • It's truly a horrific transfiguration, but an amazing one to behold

    • by Vinayak Ravindran
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      Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story titled “The Yellow Wallpaper” is essentially the fictional diary of a woman. This woman, however, isn’t any ordinary one she has been confined in a room in order to cure her temporary “nervous condition”. This condition, according to her husband John, can only be cured if she gets plenty of rest and stays indoors for long periods of time. As her time of confinement in this room increases, her connections with the outside world decreases and her fascination with the mysterious yellow wallpaper in her room grows infinitely. She eventually decides that she has to figure out the meaning behind this wallpaper, because it continues to bother

      her as her spent time in the room increases. Even though this woman attempts to reminisce over the past, the image of the wallpaper haunts her and prevents her from engaging in such thought. The narrator’s obsession with this wallpaper grows as the story progresses, which is reflected through her journal entries. In the first few entries, the wallpaper is only mentioned a few times later, the entire entry is about the wallpaper.

      “This paper looks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had!”

      The quote above reflects the first time that the narrator looks at the wallpaper and notices its unusual qualities. It’s possible that the aspects she ...


      • describes are just simple intricate patterning, which is done on many types of wallpaper even today, but the narrator sees at as something much more. This is probably due to her nervous condition. She sees the wallpaper as “everlasting”, as well as having some hideous elements (such as the “broken neck”, and “bulbous eyes” that “stare” at her). At the time that she notices it, her stream of consciousness involving past events is disrupted. She becomes bothered by the wallpaper, and eventually this distaste gives way to a curiosity that leads her to find a hidden message within the wallpaper. With the ways in which the narrator describes the yellow wallpaper, the reader
        also finds themselves in a similar situation. Although their train of thought is connected with the narrator’s musings, her sudden curiosity about the yellow wallpaper can also make the reader’s curiosity more prominent.

        The Yellow Wallpaper is masterfully well-told story about an old woman going into phases of insanity due to her family’s nature of keeping her cooped up in her room all day. Even if you’re not clastrophobic, keeping yourself in one room all day can really get to you, and this story reveals that fact with panache. The main character’s slow descent into insanity is revealed gradually, but becomes blatantly obvious by the end. It’s truly a horrific transfiguration, but an amazing one to behold. Good story.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2008. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 17107391701031/k2311a071/7.1.08
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