Depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Before starting with our subject, we shall write a brief summary of the story, as a way to lay some groundwork for our further analysis.
The story begins with the narrator, a woman who has recently moved with his husband to a big rented house while theirs is being repaired. The woman is suffering, what his husband call a “nervous depression” (Gilman 648). The woman is writing a diary, which spites his husband who would have rather she did not, as he considers it would worsen her condition. In the same way, she marvels about the house but laments she cannot leave it and go to other places. She considered that living an active life would improve her condition and that the seclusion was worsening it. Her room that used to be a nursery, and contained only a bed. It has barred windows and a hideous yellow wallpaper that turns into the narrator’s object of obsession. She begins to see the pattern and eventually realizes that its arabesques depict women behind bars. That situation makes her condition worse and turn her into a more distressed state. Ultimately, she decides to rip the paper out of the wall. In the process she feels she is becoming part of the wallpaper and starts crawling on the floor following the pattern the torn paper has made on the floor. When her husband returns from his medical visits, he founds the bedroom door locked. He asks his wife where the key is, and when he finally opens the door, what he sees makes him faint. Upon her husband’s fainting, she k…
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