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Running head: FINAL PAPER ON SHORT FICTION1“The Yellow Wallpaper”- An AnalysisAmy M. WashingtonAverett UniversityIntroduction to Literature12 April 2015
“THE YELLOW WALLPAPER”- AN ANALYSIS2AbstractThe short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is symbolic example of the cultural dilemmas that women in the 19thCentury had to endure; most importantly it depicts what the author of the story, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, stood against as accepted social norms; many of which she was subjected to. She was a woman whose name was tied to the feminist movement and one who strongly advised people that they should sustain from the oppression of women in society. Gilman used the lines of this story to portray a young woman whose sufferings from an ailment were downplayed, dismissed, or forgotten by those that she loved the most, but mostly by the men who thought they knew better than she of what she was suffering from. This story is an example of how society easily discharged a woman’s voice-when she chose to use it- as a simple female whimsy and not anything to seriously consider. Unfortunately this was the plight of not only the main character of the story, but to the women of that time in general.
“THE YELLOW WALLPAPER”- AN ANALYSIS3The IdeaThe short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" was written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Gilman was an important figure among the feminist movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The story was published in May of the same year in the New England Magazine. The setting of the story is an old "ancestral" mansion perhaps somewhere in New England. The main character, also the narrator of the story, gives very little insight into what has caused her to begin to fall into a deep depression except for the occasional mention of a baby andwhat her physician husband and brother regard as a "temporary nervous depression" (p. 473). Gilman unfolds the story in journal entries that is are written by the main character during her time at the mansion. Although the story is fictional, Gilman may have used the pages of this story to relay her own plight in life and mainly her struggle to feel relevant in a world where a man’s perspective was seen as being more important than a woman’s. With the use of symbolism, Gilman not only displays that main character’s inner most thoughts; she gives a thorough description of the house that the main character is taken to but through the main characters eyes. She frequently describes the yellow wallpaper, which occupies the walls of one room in the house, as a way to help us understand that the main character is a person suffering from delusions and mental illness. The story’s main idea is to show the deteriorating mental stateof a woman who tries desperately to relay her feelings through the pages of her journal.