The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Title

Charlotte Perkins Gilman used her personal bout with postpartum depression to create a powerful fictional narrative which has broad implications for women. When the narrator recognizes that there is more than one trapped, creeping woman, Gilman indicates that the meaning of her story extends beyond an isolated, individual situation. Gilman’s main purpose in writing The Yellow Wallpaper is to condemn not only a specific medical treatment but also the misogynistic principles and resulting sexual politics that make such a treatment possible.

The unequal relationship between the narrator and John is a microcosm of the larger gender inequity in society. Gilman makes it clear that much of John’s condescending and paternal behavior toward his wife has little to do with her illness. He dismisses her well-thought-out opinions and her “flights of fancy” with equal disdain, while he belittles her creative impulses. He speaks of her as he would a child, calling her his “little girl” and saying of her, “Bless her little heart.” He overrides her judgments on the best course of treatment for herself as he would on any issue, making her live in a house she does not like, in a room she detests, and in an isolated environment which makes her unhappy and lonely. John’s solicitous “care” shows that he believes the prevailing scientific theories which claim that women’s innate inferiority leaves them, childlike, in a state of infantile dependence.

Gilman makes John the window through which readers can view the negative images of women in her society. In Gilman’s lifetime, women’s right to become full citizens and to vote became one of the primary issues debated in the home, the media, and the political arena. As women’s reform movements gained the strength that would eventually win the vote in 1920, the backlash became more vicious and dangerous. Noted psychologists detailed theories that “proved” women’s developmental immaturity, low cognitive skills, and emotional instability. Physicians, who actually had little knowledge of the inner workings of the female body, presented complex theories arguing that the womb created hysteria and madness, that it was the source of women’s inferiority. Ministers urged women to fulfill their duty to God and their husbands with equal submission and piety. In indicting John’s patronizing treatment of his wife, Gilman indicts the system as a whole, in which many women were trapped behind damaging social definitions of the female.

One can see the negative effects of John’s (and society’s) treatment of the narrator in her response to the rest cure. At first, she tries to fight against the growing lethargy that controls her. She even challenges John’s treatment of her. Yet, while one part of her may believe John wrong, another part that has internalized the negative definitions of womanhood believes that since he is the man, the doctor, and therefore the authority, then he may be right. Because they hold unequal power positions in the relationship and in society, she lacks the courage and self-esteem to assert her will over his even though she knows that his “treatment” is harming her. Deprived of any meaningful activity, purpose, and self-definition, the narrator’s mind becomes confused and, predictably, childlike in its fascination with the shadows in the wallpaper.

In the end, the narrator triumphs over John—she literally crawls over him—but escapes from him only into madness. As a leading feminist lecturer and writer, Gilman found other options than madness to end her confinement in traditional definitions of womanhood. Eventually, Gilman divorced her husband, who married her best friend, and her husband and her best friend reared her child. The public, friends, and family so sharply censured Gilman for her actions that she knew many women would stay in unhealthy situations rather than risk such condemnation. By having the story end with the narrator’s descent into insanity, Gilman laments the reality that few viable options exist for creative, intellectual women to escape the damaging social definitions of womanhood represented by John. In her horrifying depiction of a housewife gone mad, Gilman attempts to warn her readership that denying women full humanity is dangerous to women, family, and society as a whole.

Free Research Papers on Literature: Yellow Wallpaper

Think twice before using a free research paper found on-line

We are happy to present the most complete and comprehensive collection of free research papers on Literature: Yellow Wallpaper on the Internet. There is no need to look any further. The papers are totally free for you to use, however, it is our duty to forewarn you of the possible perils involved in working with free papers. We can assure you that 99% of prewritten Literature: Yellow Wallpaper papers won't fit your assignment's instructions. All free as well as paid prewritten papers feature outdated research and incomplete referencing. As a result, tailoring the paper to your specifications will take just as much time as writing a new one from scratch.

Free and prewritten papers will be traced by turnitin (plagiarism detection program)

Free and paid prewritten papers are easily traceable by turnitin.com (plagiarism detection program) even after substantial rewriting. A custom written paper composed by one of our professional writers will never be traced by ANY plagiarism detection software because that paper will be written from scratch and pre-tested for plagiarism.

Get a custom written paper on Literature: Yellow Wallpaper or any other subject

The best thing about our writing service is that you can provide a complete description and have it written exactly the way you need it. We won't just give you one of the free papers, it will be masterfully tailored and typed from scratch, authentic all the way. Coupled with our free unlimited revisions guarantee, that becomes one of the most ironclad investmentments ever done.

Pages: 1 

In the nineteenth century, women in literature were often portrayed as submissive to men. Literature of the period often characterized women as oppressed by society, as well as by the male influences in their lives. The Yellow Wallpaper presents the tragic story of a woman's descent into depression and madness. Gilman once wrote "Women's subordination will only end when women lead the struggl... Full-text essay

In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the unnamed protagonist is suffering from postpartum depression, which is caused by the rapid changes in levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and thyroid due to the birth of a child. This depression can be brought on by stress and isolation right after birth. In this short story the protagonist was brushed of by her husband John, ... Full-text essay

Often times what is meant to help can hinder. Positive intentions do not always bring about desirable effects. The "Yellow Wallpaper" is an example of such an occurrence. In this short story the narrator is detained in a lonesome, drab room in an attempt to free herself of a nervous disorder. During the era in which this narrative was written such practices were considered beneficial. Th... Full-text essay

"The role of the narrator influences the type of relationship we have not only with him or her but also with the story" (Landy 75). This quote was taken from our Literary Studies book in which we have read several stories concerning different styles of narration. Narration is one of the most important components of a story. The characters, plot, setting, and theme are also significant, h... Full-text essay

Signs of society’s sexism in The Yellow Wall-Paper The Yellow Wallpaper is a story, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Although the work is short, it is one of the most interesting works in existence. Gilman uses literary techniques very well. The symbolism of The Yellow Wall-Paper, can be seen and employed after some thought and make sense immediately. The views and ideals of society are often found in... Full-text essay

If there is one story that we have read so far that has had a tremendous impact on me, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is definitely it. I read the story in high school, however I really didn’t remember too much about it. I saw the story as one woman’s journey into madness however; I also saw it as more than madness. It made me very upset when not only her husband but also her brother, both physicians, shr... Full-text essay

The short story, “ The Yellow Wallpaper”, written by Charlotte Gilman, and “The Cast of Amontillado” written by Edgar Allan Poe, are stories in which the plots are very different, but share similar qualities with the elements in the story. “The Cast of Amontillado” is a powerful tale of revenge, in which the narrator of the tale pledges revenge upon Fortunato for an insult. “The Yellow Wallpaper” ... Full-text essay

For the women in the twentieth century today, who have more freedom than before and have not experienced the depressive life that Gilman lived from1860 to 1935, it is difficult to understand Gilman's situation and understand the significance of "The Yellow Wallpaper". Gilman's original purpose of writing the story was to have gained personal satisfaction if Dr. S. Weir Mitchell might cha... Full-text essay

In "The Yellow Wallpaper", by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the dominant/submissive relationship between an oppressive husband and his submissive wife pushes her from depression into insanity. Flawed human nature seems to play a great role in her breakdown. Her husband, a noted physician, is unwilling to admit that there might really be something wrong with his wife. This same attitude is se... Full-text essay

“The Yellow Wallpaper” is about a creative woman whose talents are suppressed by her dominant husband. His efforts to oppress her in order to keep her within society's norms of what a wife is supposed to act like, only lead to her mental destruction. He is more concerned with societal norms than the mental health of his wife. In trying to become independent and overcome her own suppressed thoughts... Full-text essay

For the women in the twentieth century today, who have more freedom than before and have not experienced the depressive life that Gilman lived from 1860 to 1935, it is difficult to understand Gilman’s situation and understand the significance of “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Gilman’s original purpose of writing the story was to gain personal satisfaction if Dr. S. Weir Mitchell might change his treatmen... Full-text essay

Throughout history people have always seemed to follow what notions that were considered “cool”. Though I doubt that “cool” was the word used to describe these notions they were still there in some form or another. One of the greatest farces ever committed in the name of these popular perceptions was medicine. At that time, medicine that was on the cutting edge seem to have always involved some so... Full-text essay

A major theme in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is that solitary confinement and exclusion from the public results in insanity. The use of imagery and setting helps illustrate this theme throughout the story. The unnamed protagonist in this story suffers from a nervous disorder which is enhanced by her feeling of being trapped within a room. The setting of the vast colonial man... Full-text essay

In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the dominant/ submissive relationship between an oppressive husband and his submissive wife pushes her from depression into insanity. It is about the growing madness of a young married woman arising out of the pressures of her life. A woman who is being treated for a case of post-partum depression is slowly driven mad by the treatment itself ... Full-text essay

For John Modern day feminists’ enjoy looking into the past to find examples of female oppression. This tactic is employed in the hopes of demonstrating that oppression of their sex by the evil male populous has been going on for decades. One such work that is cited by feminists to showcase just how terrible women were treated in the first part of the twentieth century is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s... Full-text essay

"The role of the narrator influences the type of relationship we have not only with him or her but also with the story" (Landy 75). This quote was taken from our Literary Studies book in which we have read several stories concerning different styles of narration. Narration is one of the most important components of a story. The characters, plot, setting, and theme are also significant, h... Full-text essay

One thought on “The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Title

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *