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The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman Analysis

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The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman Analysis -The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman is best known for its explanatory significance of gender disparity during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this period, the social expectations on women placed immense pressure on them to live by certain norms. They were always controlled by male figures in their lives.  Women were often expected and sometimes forced to stick to gender-specific roles that were prescribed by the society. Moreover, those who dared to challenge the status-quo found themselves in the midst of harsh criticism from family and society. Gilman explicitly reveals the dynamics of the society by narrating the story of a woman. The woman is driven to a point of desperation that she narrates the plot of her story. Confined in a nursery as a recommended by her patriarchal husband, the woman searches her identity as she observes the yellow wallpaper. Throughout the woman’s search for identity, the author begs the queries on what are the causes for her search of identity. In the end, the narrator’s insanity is recorded as the climax of the story, which could be seen either as a defeat or as a triumph. The narrator’s insanity depicts a sense of triumph in her own journey to searching for self-identity.The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman Analysis

When the book was first published, most people only praised it for its symbolic and chilling effect. However, a closer look at it revealed the strong significance of social norms during that era. Soon enough, it became an icon in the literary theme of feminism. According to Gilman (1994), the narrator suffers depression after giving birth and is the reason for her isolation. It is worth noting that her own husband happens to be the doctor examining and recommending ways of recovery. The husband takes her to a rural setting and isolates her from meeting with other people by keeping her in a nursery room. This means that the woman feels trapped in the company of her own husband, and she has no social or mobility freedom. This goes to support the idea that she began a journey to find her self-identity. For her, being able to explore an imagination beyond that room brought a sense of control on her own life. It meant that she was in control of both her choices and her destiny.

Another aspect of the story that supports the narrator’s triumph in the end is gender disparity, which was synonymous with the Victorian era. Through the contextual surface, Gilman explains the gender roles that society prescribed to women in that era. Jane, the narrator, uses words such as “Phosphates”, which clearly shows how women were looked upon Gilman 657). It depicts that women were seen merely as domestic caregivers who should be confined to the duties of home keeping. The narrator is aware of this fact and it acts as a trigger in her self-identity search. The manner in which the narrator arranges the metaphors is meant to reveal a picture of male oppression. Jane constructs her sentences in a clever way that shows the reader the patriarchal and male oppression she was undergoing. Moreover, her action of tearing the wallpaper apart is a form of self-expression. It gives her a sense of accomplishment by achieving something she deems significant with her own hands. For these reasons, her mental insanity at the end of the story may be seen as a form of triumph, since it represents her final break into freedom. The author’s description of the wallpaper continues getting more detailed towards the end as it shows symbolism of oppression. At first, she describes it as floral, which is meant to depict feminism in the story. She later describes the texts through which the woman expressed her thoughts and imaginations. The narrator imagines that there are other women trapped in the