Imprisoned of the short story “The Yellow

Imprisoned in a mental bright yellow room
of her own husband’s scheme, the protagonist of the short story “The
Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman brought the
attention of how women used to be seen and treated back in the 1800s.
Stereotypes of how women should be the ones expected to house clean, raise
children, takes care of the husband and do as they are told. The theme of the story
is made clear through the characterization of John the protagonist’s husband,
who is blinded by his dominated male ego that leads him to unintentionally
imprisoning his own wife in a room driving her to Sevier depression, no freedom
of thought with a controlled environment.

John, the narrator’s husband as the
dominant partner he controls and determined all his wife’s decisions making
because he viewed her as an incapable as childlike begin. He treats her as an
inferior as proven here: “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects
that in marriage.” John dismissed his wives complains about her mental
illness, and rather laughed it off in a very cruel way driving her to madness.
The narrator wants to be saved and understood that she is ill, but John ironically
enough is a physician who keeps ignoring his wife’s illness and not only that
but is also is failing as husband who is meant to look after his wife.” He
laughs at me so about this wallpaper” (515), he constantly puts her down
and it increases her insecurities making the matter worst. When John laughs at
the yellow wallpaper that to his wife symbolizes her depression, it is making a
statement that it’s a joke and it does not exist. The irony of the situation is
that the room is part of the problem; he simply boxed her in there to
miraculously get healed. Throughout time in the room, she notices the wallpaper
” a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow turning
sunlight” (514). After a couple of days, she notices the wallpaper is
starting to change. She sees “a woman stooping down and creeping about
behind that pattern” (518) The yellow wallpaper had a secret that only the
narrator could see. Throughout the story, she gets obsessed with the wallpaper
to a point she doesn’t want anybody to come in and disturb her from finding out
the secret. She later then starts to believe that there is a woman trapped
behind bars in the wallpaper. So, she and “the women” in the
wallpaper rip the wallpaper off the wall so the women can escape. This
symbolizes the narrator longing to escape her delusional husband and all the
hurt he is caused her by isolating her in that yellow dull room. 

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In the end, she escapes “I’ve got
out at last” and I, “despite you and Jane. I’ve pulled off most of
the paper, so you cannot put me back.” At last, the narrator takes control
of her own thoughts, and John’s role as a strong, protective husband is
destroyed and he becomes weak and much like how a “woman” is meant to act
himself, “now why should that man have fainted?” (17) Seeing his wife
in a state of madness and total loss of self-control. Finally accepting his
wife’s illness, the narrator reversed his role. John being shocked showed his
emotion which is supposedly not very manly, and finally coming to realize that
he was wrong. With most the story taking place in the room that brings
nothing but insanity to the female protagonist. It is made clear that the
feminist point of view is made through the narrator’s surroundings. Her
environment of the room is almost prison-like, she felt repressed by the bars
and gates. John refuses to change her environment; he wishes to keep her
imprisoned. But the most obvious use of setting to emphasize feminist views
comes from the wallpaper itself. “At night in any kind of light, in
twilight, candlelight, lamplight and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes
bars” (10). The wallpaper itself represents the psychological barriers put
on by society and her husband, and seen as a helpless weak linked woman she
could not stand for herself. As an escape mechanism, she devotes her entire
willpower, and thoughts to rip the wallpaper as she becomes closer to freedom.

conclusion, the “yellow wallpaper” is used to express the author’s feminist
view, demonstrating the physical and mental hardships that faced by women. The
ideas that are expressed through John’s action and the setting of the story
represented the barriers and constraints society puts on women. It showed that
mental illness should be taken seriously and that women’s voices should be
given an equal opportunity to be heard.