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Marjorie Anne Kitty Kat CoraT.T. EilandEnglish 103June 9, 2019Literary Analysis of “The Yellow Wallpaper”Author Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaperloosely based off the experiences she had many years prior. The story follows the life of narrator Jane closely following the birth of her baby boy. The Yellow Wallpaperalso exhibits the interactions between Jane and her husband John.This literary analysis will be utilizing psychoanalytical, historical, marxist, and feministic criticism. Primarily the focus will be directed to Gilman’s reason for writing The Yellow Wallpaper. Next, the focus will be concentrated on the history of the illness the attention of the story is geared to. Charlotte Perkins Gilman also uses various skills or methods that makes her story-telling effective and cohesive, which when analyzed is called methodological criticism. All of these pieces come together as a story that readers can form their own opinion and analysis on. Reader response is the final form of criticism this analysis will focus on. By applying psychoanalytical criticism this piece of literary analysis will focus on how Gilman’s personal experiences dictated why she wrote The Yellow Wallpaperand how she embellished upon the original story. Gilman’s story exemplifies nervous hysteria, to be exact she gives her narrator a, “nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper). Gilman herself suffered from nervous hysteria, after three years, in 1887 she went to
a specialist. The specialist she visited was Dr. Silas. Weir Mitchell. This is the man she refers to in The Yellow Wallpaper. He prescribed her with the infamous rest cure, which again is what wasJane, the narrator, was instructed to be treated with. Gilman says she “obeyed those directions forsome three months, and came so near the borderline of utter mental ruin that (she) could she over” (Gilman, Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper). Following these three months Gilman was able to use what intellect she was able to regain she began to work once again. The short story was meant to be an educational piece that could be an intriguing read at the same time. Gilman inthe article titled “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper”,that appeared in The Forerunner she tells readers that unlike her narrator she never, “… had hallucinations or objections to (her) mural decorations”. In The Yellow WallpaperJane believes there is a woman inside of the walls of the room she is isolated in most of her days. Jane also expresses a deep hatred towards her yellow wallpaper. This is what Gilman is referring to in regards to the differences between her and her narrator. These aspects of the story is how Gilman exaggerates a life much like the one she lived.