While in her twenties, Gilman married and one year later, gave birth to a daughter. When morning comes, the narrator has peeled off all of the wallpaper and begun to creep around the perimeter of the room. And he is also transformed at the end of the tale—in a reversal of traditional gothic roles—because it is he, not a female, who faints when confronted with madness 529. She begins a habit of crawling around the room on all fours. He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my good will and good sense to check the tendency. The house is solitary, has hedges and walls and gates, smaller houses for gardeners and other workers, and an elegant garden.
The author wrote this story as a response to her experience in this situation. I don't like it a bit. Compare this description to the narrator's role of mother. This may represent that she has no identity being married to a man who doesn't understand her condition From this quote, we can infer that. In her breakdown, the narrator finds freedom at last. The sub-pattern now clearly resembles a woman who is trying to get out from behind the main pattern. Charlotte Perkins Gilman had a difficult childhood after her father abandoned her family while she was still an infant.
As the narrator tears down the wallpaper in the end, it was revealed that the woman trapped behind the wallpaper was in fact herself. The narrator's irritation with the wallpaper grows; she discovers a recurring pattern of bulbous eyes and broken necks, as well as the faint image of a skulking figure stuck behind the pattern. Themes to Look For and Discuss Mental Illness Mental illness is the prominent theme of the story, with the narrator being treated for what is most likely post-partum depression, or something similar. Despite her fear of getting caught, the narrator continues to write, recognizing that this solitary practice is her only source of power. Her obsession with the paper begins subtly and then consumes both the narrator and the story. Early readers were appreciative of the sheer horror of the tale, and, indeed, it still stands as a wonderful example of the genre. The narrator begins by describing the large, ornate home that she and her husband, John, have rented for the summer.
But, according to history and according to society, men knew better than women, especially when women were hysterical or fragile as was often the characterization. A 'rest cure' as they called it back then was a length of time during which the patient did minimal physical activity and had very limited mental stimulation because, as some doctors believed, the condition was brought on by too much going on in the patient's mind or a kind of hysteria or nervousness. The Yellow Wallpaper brilliantly illustrates this philosophy. At first he meant to repaper the room, but afterwards he said that I was letting it get the better of me, and that nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies. Despite being told by her husband and sister-in-law to limit the amount of time she uses to write, she continues to write more behind their backs and tries to maintain her sanity while being trapped in the room. In the storyboard, an example of each conflict should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict. Additionally, we will discuss her use of fiction as a vehicle to reveal what she felt was the less-than-equal existence of women during the 19th century.
The narrator says that she does not blame her because she too would be embarrassed if caught wondering around outside during the daytime. And what can one do? The wallpaper has been part of her confinement and by her tearing it down, she is freeing herself from that confinement. They wander around and creep about the room at all hours of the day and night. John threatens to send her to Weir Mitchell, the real-life physician under whose care Gilman had a nervous breakdown. She finds herself getting angrier with him now, especially when he tells her to exercise self-control. John is gone a lot, but when he is home, he seems to be studying both her and the wallpaper, which is aggravating and frightening to the narrator. And now throw in the fact that there are actual bars on the windows.
This represents the point where her illness has taken full control over her and leads to her own madness. Her obsession with the woman in the paper plagues her. The narrator also serves as the embodiment of Gilman's idea that if women were able to be enlightened, so to speak, they could benefit greatly in health and in mind. The story brilliantly depicts a woman whose opinions and feelings have never been acknowledged or recognized as valid in the real world. This pattern recurs frequently throughout the story—whenever the narrator raises an opinion, John silences her. The room, and particularly the wallpaper she hates so much, become the center of her world — her voice. I wanted one downstairs that opened onto the piazza and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old fashioned chintz hangings! I have spent hours trying to analyze it, to find what it smelled like.
During this treatment, Charlotte was not allowed to leave her bed, feed herself, or even turn herself over in bed. Gilman wrote the story not merely to change one man's view of neurasthenia, but to use the story as a symbol of the oppression of women in a paternalistic society. The narrator continues to repress her own needs and allow her husband to dominate. In addition to the sense of smell, the reader is also captured by the sense of touch. However, John argues that the room is too small because it cannot fit two separate beds. I turned it off with a laugh.
It was a miserable time for Gilman, who was reduced to a mental breakdown. This lesson is also suitable as a stand-alone lesson plan focusing on a close reading of Gilman's story, exploring such literary concepts as setting, narrative style, symbol, and characterization. The dominance of her husband, and her reaction to it, is reflected throughout the story. What traits does the narrator have? It was from this emotion that Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote 'The Yellow Wallpaper. There's no physical reason for the narrator not to be allowed to write, but under her rest cure, it is prohibited to her.
The symbolism utilized by Gilman is somewhat askew from the conventional. Having students create storyboards that show the cause and effect of different types of conflicts strengthens analytical thinking about literary concepts. In this damp weather it is awful. This is a room in which, by the end, she is stooping from wall to wall as well. She also wonders if other women in her society think and wish the same things that she does.