The Yellow Paper

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Category: Literature

Date Submitted: 09/28/2012 05:20 PM

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June 14, 2012

“The Yellow Paper”

“The Yellow Paper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was written in the late eighteen hundreds when women were secondary to their husbands. The meaning of this story is about a woman (The protagonist) who is suffering from a nervous disorder and is isolated against her own will. Her husband, a physician named John, is her antagonist and he oppresses her from ordinary life. John contributes to the meaning of this story by being in complete control over his wife’s life and as a result significantly contributes to her illness. She makes ongoing attempts, cries for help, which her husband disregards. John’s oppressing ultimately drives her to eventual insanity and powerlessness.

Upon arrival to their temporary summer home, the main character speaks of how the house scares her and that it could be haunted “Still I will declare that there is something about it. Else, why should it be so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted?” “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that” (Gilman 597). John denounces her credibility and undermines her feeling towards her fears and uneasiness. “You see, he does not believe I’m sick! And what can one do” (Gilman 597). She describes her husband as being a reputable physician, he claims to their friends and family that she suffers a slight hysterical tendency.

The woman speaks of wanting to write but John prefers her not to, unfortunately she is forced to hide her outlet. She is getting agitated with his control “I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I’m sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition” (Gilman 598). She begins to privately protest using writing about how she hates the condition of her room; however she keeps her feelings hidden. The depression she is suffering is progressing and she describes becoming extremely miserable and lonely “John does not know how I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies...