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Literary Analysis

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Literary Analysis

"When one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one" a quote by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Perhaps this is why Gilman, author of "The Yellow Wallpaper", committed suicide. In the story the narrator seems to be a healthy mother that had given birth recently and her doctor/ husband committed her to home confinement. As the story progresses it becomes obvious she is illogical because she sees a woman in the wallpaper which she becomes "I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back". (261) The reason for the story being called "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the room she is confined in has a peculiar yellow wallpaper that has her mind playing tricks on her. This story comes of Gilman's personal expirience when a doctor confined her to stay home and do nothing. After 3 months she began to notice she was further into the depression so she defied her doctors order and began to do what she loved to do write! In doing so Gilman was able to write stories and be a "dedicated feminist" (pg220)

In the beginning, the narrators doctor/husband rents a mansion for a few months. At the mansion she is put in a room that was a "nursery first, and then playroom and gymnasium..." (31) The other characters in the book are the husband, their baby, and the husbands sister which is the house-keeper/babysitter. As soon as she is put in the room the narrator beings to focus on this yellow wallpaper with many strange patterns and patches of it striped off. She was put in this room to rest off her "temporary nervous depression..."(9) by doing nothing at all physical [this includes writing] just sleep and rest. Although, the narrator was not allowed to write she would "write for a while in spite of them" by writing when no one was around about how she feels and later about the crazy wallpaper. Inside that room she begins to follow the wallpapers designs noticing that it has a woman trapped on the wallpapers designs. When she gets a chance to leave the room, she feels like she can smell the wallpaper wherever she goes no matter how far she gets away. During the day the narrator believes the daylight keeps quiet but at night the woman tries to get the narrator to free her during the night. The narrator begins to believe that her husband and sister-in-law are figuring the pattern out, soon they will see the lady, and free her themselves but "I[narrator] am determined that nobody shall find it out but myself!"(162) During the day, she begins to see the lady from the wallpaper outside through of every window that she looks through creeping; realizing that the lady must get out in the daylight so she has to be freed at night. Then one night the narrator begins to rip off part of the wallpaper trying



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