The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman tells a story of a woman who is slowly getting insane trapped in the luxurious country house. The story is mainly written in the form of first-person narration, and we see the events and settings through the eyes of the main character. The story describes the status and the role of woman in the 19th century. The woman is trapped in the nursery room of the big house. Her husband locks her there hoping that this would help to treat her mental disorder. The result becomes just the opposite and isolation and atmosphere of the house makes the things worse and drives the woman to complete insanity. We feel compassion for the seek woman and at the same time admire her brave attempts to confront illness. On the example of the protagonist, the author shows the state of the women and their position in the 19th century. The position of the protagonist is very symbolic and shows the position most women were placed to. Social attitude to women and indifference of the surrounding placed women to such conditions where they couldn’t defend themselves had limited rights and freedoms.
This happens to the main character of The Yellow Wallpaper. The woman is trapped by her husband, by the society, by the norms rules and she escapes to her own, imaginary world where the cruelties of life cannot reach her.
Since the main character is a woman with mental illness, we cannot believe 100% in everything she sees and describes. With the help of the setting, the author puts us inside into to development and progress of the mental illness. The protagonist dislikes the room and the color of the wallpaper from the first moment she gets inside. In reality, it’s not only the room she dislikes but also her whole life, her relations with her husband and loneliness and isolation she lives in. We understand that wallpaper woman is nothing but the imagination of the protagonist, but at the same time, we realize that it’s the reality she lives in. We feel compassionate to the main character, but at the same time, we understand that being not satisfied with her life she did nothing to change it. Being trapped in the room she realizes the reasons for her illness, she comprehends her dissatisfaction with her life, her loneliness and attitude of her husband but all this understanding doesn’t push her to actions. Like the most women of her time, she prefers to suffer silently.
Her dissatisfaction doesn’t turn to actions and destroys her from inside. I think this woman was weak and mental illness became a kind of escape when real work was necessary.
As we can see, the protagonist of the story is a controversial character. We can find both, positive and negative traits in the personage created by the author. Personally, I liked the character and felt compassionate to the poor woman. I liked courage she withstood her illness and despite her attempts didn’t succeed the very attempt to confront the illness meant a lot. She did what she could, and despite her failure, her efforts meant a lot.
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