Someone Needs to Re-decorate or Maybe Not!?

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"It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide -- plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions" (Gilman 532).

After reading this quote, I immediately thought that the narrator was going to commit suicide or completely lose her mind. The story seems to make the reader think that someone else has torn the wallpaper, but it was her! The narrator states that she watches a woman through the window, but she does not realize that it is herself that is the woman.

As I continued to read this story, with suspense, I quickly compared it to the movie 1408. John Cusack, the main character, wants to write about haunted places and he goes to a hotel. He is told that the room is off limits, but he insists that he stays in that room. As the movie progresses, John, known as Mike Enslin in the movie, encounters a room that almost destroys him. I quickly thought about this movie when reading this story because of how similar they are. The only difference is that Mike Enslin makes it through the horror whereas the narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" goes completely ill.

What really made me question myself is when the narrator seems that she is recovering from her illness, but in the end she turns for the worst. This short story keeps the reader in suspense until the very end.

I researched this story and found out that there is suppose to be a movie release in 2009. I found a preliminary (re-enacted) trailer on YouTube.

Do you think that the narrator's husband, John, pushes her over the edge by telling her that she is fine and just needs rest?

OR

Do you think that the narrator is ill and the room with yellow wallpaper made her illness worse?

Course web page devoted to Gilman

3 Comments

I took a look at the trailor. I'm not sure whether or not that preview is real but you inspired me to look up the movie on imbd.com. There is indeed a movie that is supposed to come out in 2009. You can check out the page below to find out more. There isn't much, but it is something.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790788/

But back to your question, I don't think that John necessarily pushes her over the edge, but he doesn't help her either. I made the point in my paper that she tries to tell her how she feels but he shuts her up, making her feel that she alone is responsible for her condition. He seems to believe that she chooses to be depressed and if she just forgot about it, she'd be fine. I'm glad I didn't live back then because woman's rights and medicine in general has progressed so much.

By the way, I love how you always involve your reader in your entries by posing questions. I might have to steal the idea!

I agree with Angela, I enjoy how you ask questions at the end of your entries. In response to your first question, I don’t think that John pushes her over the edge. I think he didn’t want to admit she was depressed (not only because people didn’t believe in depression at that time) but also because if he admitted she was depressed, her depression would have to be caused by something—perhaps even his relationship with her. As for your second question, I think she was already ill, but I’m not sure the yellow paper was the decisive reason for why she got so much worse. I think almost anything could have caused that, it just happened to be the first thing she came in contact with.

I wrote pretty much the same thing in my blog. I have always loved this story. I find it fascinating to watch as she delves deeper into her own mad world. In answer to the questions you posted, I believe that all of these things contributed to her final descent, but I believe she could have been put in any situation and her madness would have found a way out. I think that this is one of the great aspects of this story, she was mad going in and madness worked its way out further through her imagination. It wanted out and it manifested itself in the yellow wallpaper prison.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on January 26, 2009 12:47 PM.

Making an Interview a Success - The Role of Language was the previous entry in this blog.

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