November 30, 2004

What A Case?

The Yellow Wallpaper was about a nervous wife and an over protective husband. The husband’s smothering attention, combined with the isolated environment incites the nervous nature of the wife, causing her to plunge to insanity to the point she sees herself in the wallpaper. The author developed this story in a way that it allows the readers to participate in the woman’s growing insanity.

After reading this literary piece, I decided to do some research about the women in the 1890’s. After doing research, I found that women were often treated as second class citizens. They were dominated by society and controlled by men. The men were the leaders ruling the home or workplace and women were under their authority. The wife in this literary piece reflects this attitude society has towards her because her husband decided what furniture or things that was to be in her room. She submits to these decisions, even to the point of agreeing with him. As readers we can only full appreciate the progress of the wife’s decent into insanity and feel for her because we see the situations from her perspectives. Also because the wife has no name, the reader can put his or herself into the wife’s situation. From this piece we get a vivid description of what it is like to go mad.
In seeing the story through the narrator’s eyes, we saw her mental illness. Between society’s view of women at that time and the husband’s attitudes effective remedies towards her the mental instability can only grow worse. The yellow wallpaper allowed the readers to follow the woman’s regression into insanity as the story progresses. Only through the wife’s view could we have followed this regression of the mind. All in all, this is a different story of a woman struggling for sanity in an indifferent society. Do you believe if this literary piece was told through the husband or the housekeeper it might change? Or the readers would have been able to understand the wife’s insanity? Personally I believe if it was told by another point of view it would have been cluttered and it would have lessened the reader’s sympathy for the wife. It would have also detracted the wife’s growing obsession with the wallpaper and her insanity.

Posted by Se-AnnWilliams at November 30, 2004 02:31 PM
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