Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

In various aspects, the narrator's condition in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper reflects contemporary female issues. For starters, the Yellow Wallpaper's structure gives women a sense of intimacy and immediacy. During the time, John attempted to cure his wife's "nervous illness" with Weir Mitchell's rest cure. This rest therapy implies that intellectual stimulation harms a woman both psychologically and physically.

In the beginning of the story, the storyteller appears believable and sensible. But, as the story progresses, the reader quickly realizes that the narrator is untrustworthy. In fact, the author appears to be confusing and withholding information. In the end, the mental disorder of the narrator is reflected by the thought patterns that are both fragmented and disjointed. The reader is permitted a view of the intimacy of the gradual mental breakdown of the narrator through the revelations that the journal contains.

Treatment that Women Should be Expecting in a Marriage

The movement of John and the narrator into a temporary home marked the beginning of the journal regarding the reflection of the contemporary concerns of women. The narrator doubts the necessity of John’s intended actions. Further, the superior attitude of John is revealed when he laughs at her "fancies." However, the narrator finds this response quite natural. She claims that in any marriage, one has to expect those treatments. Furthermore, she suggests that his indifference to her illness as well as her opinions prevents her from getting well quickly. A fateful prediction resulted from such suggestion.

Decision of John and His Wife

John’s wife is concerned about his idea. Even though her wife was against the idea, John decided that they will be sleeping in the house's attic room. At one point, this room has been a nursery. Unlike a place for children to play, the room appears more of prison. In addition to the bed being nailed to the floor, the windows of the room also have bars on them. A gate is also provided at the stairs’ top. However, the yellow wallpaper is even more disturbing to the narrator. Ordinarily, any woman has to be concerned with such activities that were taking place in the house's attic room.

Morbid Fascination

Also, the contemporary concerns of women are reflected by the morbid fascination. Here, the morbid fascination of the narrator with the yellow wallpaper act as her degenerating sanity’s first clue. At this point, she begins attributing characteristics of lifelike to the paper. Additionally, she begins believing that there are two levels in the paper, a shadow figure and a front pattern trapped behind its bars. The progression of her illness is betrayed by the narrator when she begins believing that a woman is a figure behind the wallpaper, trapped like herself. The narrator becomes obsessed with the woman behind the wallpaper.

Concern about Disturbance

Once again, John goes to town to attend to the patient on their last night. At the same time, Jennie is asked by the narrator not to disturb her. Apparently, she is concerned about her piece of mind. To create room for uninterrupted time to peel the wallpaper, the narrator decides to lock herself in the nursery once she is left alone.


The author discloses some of the contemporary concerns of women in the book. For example, it is revealed how the narrator identifies more intensely and closely with the woman that was trapped as she works. In effect, the narrator loses her merges and individual identity’s sense with the woman that was behind the wallpaper.

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