Posted: February 16th, 2023

Using the short story “The yellow wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman write a literary research paper.

The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, is a short story that speaks to the struggles of women in oppressive societies. The protagonist is a woman who is confined to her room for the duration of summer, due to her supposed “nervous condition”, and she is expected to rest there until she feels better. Over time, however, the protagonist discovers more than just physical ailments- she also discovers herself. Through Gilman’s purposeful use of symbolism and imagery throughout the text, it becomes apparent that this story is not simply about one woman’s mental health journey but rather an exploration of gender roles and feminism within oppressive societies.

From page one readers can see the oppression imposed on our protagonist by both her husband John and physician S. Weir Mitchell as they dictate what kind of treatment should be prescribed without giving any consideration to what the patient wants or needs. This authoritarian attitude reinforces traditional Victorian gender roles where men are seen as superior beings with absolute control over their wives; as John says at one point “there must be no half-way house between [his] position and hers” (Gilman). This exemplifies how patriarchy strips away agency from women within these societies; instead of being viewed as independent individuals capable of making decisions for themselves it appears that society deems them only fit to follow orders set forth by men.

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This idea carries through even in the very setting itself: an old colonial mansion with yellow wallpaper which has been described as “repellent… revoltingly [and] unmistakably alive! A smoldering unclean yellow […] It slinks away […] Gives back none of [the heroine’s] thoughts” (Gilman 3). These details paint a vivid picture wherein our heroine finds herself trapped in a world full of male voices telling her what she should do while also feeling inhibited from actualizing her true potential because society has stripped away all autonomy from her feminine identity- essentially turning into something akin to living wallpaper stuck against a wall observing life going on outside without having any direct input into it whatsoever.

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Using the short story “The yellow wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman write a literary research paper.

In addition to this powerful metaphor used throughout the narrative we can also look at other symbols such as windows which represent portals between two different worlds—one free and open while another oppressed closed off space–or keys which symbolize freedom or lack thereof depending on who holds them or perhaps most importantly how our protagonist perceives these items based on whichever side she happens to find herself standing closer too during various moments in time which forces readers think about power dynamics within oppressive patriarchal systems versus liberation through self-discovery enabled when women are allowed access societal parity regardless if they choose physical escape route or inner strength derived through knowledge gained via personal experience etcetera

It appears then that The Yellow Wallpaper serves not only as social commentary regarding mental health issues but also serves up feminist themes around gender equality within these particular elements suggesting ultimately need for change begin offering freedom every member so may able live life according chosen paths despite whatever restrictive expectations imposed upon them outsiders

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