Don’t you just love wallpaper? Do you love it enough to be stuck in a room with nothing but one particular wallpaper? Let’s make it a bit more interesting, pretend you’re in a room with a weird yellow wallpaper and can not do anything for the next couple of hours but stare at the wallpaper? Scary? I would say ! “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short story that came out in 1892. The story is told in the first person p.o.v. by a women who is hinted to be mad. She seems to be unstable after the birth of her child. Her husband John is a doctor and believes all his wife needs is a “rest cure” and she will be fine. The couple seems to be in a new house and the wife is confined to a room upstairs. Everything seems to stand out to her from the floor, barred windows, and the weird yellow ripped up wallpaper. She becomes so involved with the wallpaper that she begins journal entries about the wallpaper. She then becomes infatuated with the idea that their is a lady stuck inside the wallpaper and she must help her escape. This lead into her locking herself into the room and ripping down all of the wallpaper.
The author Gilman seemed to be using the wallpaper to represent the oppression women were facing at that time. The wallpaper represented women being stuck to the household and not being able to have a life outside of it. Hence the “lady stuck in the wallpaper” could have been the narrator realizing that she must be freed because she wasn’t being paid enough attention too and will be stuck if no one saves her.
–Interesting note – Gilman wrote this because she was actually going through depression and was given the “Rest cure” as a treatment method. She soon came to her senses and realized the lack of attention given to her (and other women) was wrong because the rest cure just made them obsolete to the world outside.