yellow wallpaper notes - dominant architectural logic of...

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English Online Source The Yellow Wallpaper,” I would suggest that it all accords with the general theory I’ve just outlined in a fairly straightforward manner. At the level of space, we’re given a socially produced environment in the form of a sickroom, the declared purpose of which is to restore the bodies and minds of women suffering from neurasthenia (a.k.a. hysteria)— which, as Elizabeth Ammons points out, is nothing but the “trauma of unsuccessful role adjustment.”14 However, as Gilman’s story makes clear, medical logic is largely corrupted by the influence of commonplace gender ideology in this instance, so what this space actually does has far less to do with restoring women’s health than it does with reinforcing an allegedly natural social situation. Just as the
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Unformatted text preview: dominant architectural logic of the nineteenth century American home normalized the ideal of domes³cated femininity, so too do the spa³al form of this medicalized environment. She locks the door to the room, and although she can’t do much about the bed—which is nailed to the ²oor so she can’t move it, and she only hurts her teeth when she tries to bite pieces of it away— and she can’t do much about objects like the bars in the windows, she channels the “anarchy of Pier] individual impulses” toward the yellow wallpaper.27 As she tears the paper from the walls, strip by strip, she imagines herself libera³ng a parade of women that have been trapped by its disgus³ng pa´ern— and she ul³mately liberates herself....
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