The Yellow Wallpaper Time Setting Analysis

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The Yellow Wallpaper was allegory gothic literature by charlotte Gerkins Gilman written in 19th century a period of social change and the beginning of industrial revolution a time where man dominated everything including, social, economic and domestic issues, although it was a time of abolition of slavery, social injustice against women was prevalence where woman symbolises assets to acquire just like furniture or an object of bearing children for the family. The woman at that time lack locus standing and freedom to exhibit their franchise.

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their life basically depends on the man.

The author technically demonstrates the psychedelics nature and imagery characterization of the woman as the theme of the story – A symbolism of hallucination, loneliness and mental disorder- a state of incommunicado. In the story the author was very descriptive to let us see a woman that is locked in a room for the purpose of bed rest after delivering a baby… charlotte did not divulge much information leading to the lockup, but we can deduce that the narrator understands the culture of that era where women are treated as inferior beings and properties hence wrote the story from a woman’s perspective from the 19th century. It is surprising to note that the woman’s husband is a doctor even though his specialty is not known.

Perhaps, he has written the bed rest order for other women that have exhibited the type of signs as his wife and believes he is doing a good thing. In his understanding, the bed rest is the best solution for women undergoing stress after delivery since that era considers the woman as fragile. In today’s medical world, we are aware of post-partum depression, a foreign word to doctors and women back then. As the story progresses, we see the woman transfixed on a yellow wallpaper in the room, and due to boredom and lack of communication, it became an object of fascination whereby she began to draw mental images in her mind. The mental images became vivid to the point of seeing people tangled and stuck, unable to free themselves. Their freedom became a top priority for her and in an attempt to free these people, she tore the paper to pieces.

By this act, we see a woman frustrated by her situation and attempted to free the people she conjured in her mind, people that are as helpless as her. From the outside looking in, the reader would only see an insane woman, a mad person that is hallucinating about invisible people. A mad woman clutching at doorposts and sinking to the floor. Even though the writer does not share the internal frustrations of the woman, on purpose, today’s reader should be able to feel the pain of a wife and mother who should have received help but instead is reduced to a weak and incapable mother, pushing her into depression and a hallucinated State of mind.  

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The Yellow Wallpaper Time Setting Analysis. (2021, Apr 19). Retrieved from