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The Yellow Wallpaper

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by

Celestina Sunisshining

on 20 January 2015

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Transcript of The Yellow Wallpaper

Yellow was a facade for happiness
The numerous amounts of women the narrator sees trapped within the wallpaper represent the female gender as a whole.
"Message of Author"
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Published In 1892
Way for Perkins to speak her mind.
"Summary"
19th century American short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
The era that Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born into engendered "The Yellow Wallpaper" due to it's treatment of women. Concepts that were present


The Injustice that Sparked the Brilliance
"Feme Covert"
patriarchal families
Laws Behind Divorce
Domestication
Treatment in a Predominantly Male Society
The Rest Cure

"Feme Covert"
Translates to "
covered woman
" and is used to address married women.
Not only this, but the entire concept revolves around the husband's almost complete authority .
Foundations; The Common Law in Europe The Constitution of the U.S.
Contradicts the 14th Amendment
"Patriarchal Families"
Male ran the family in terms of:

-finance
-wife and husband relationships (submission, domesticity, complaisance)

Examples from "The Yellow Wallpaper":
"If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband..."
"having to be too sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition"
"he said what I felt was draught, and shut the window"
"unreasonably angry with John sometimes I'm sure I never used to be so sensitive"
"pains to control myself--before him, at least, and that makes me very tired."
"He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction."
"Laws Behind Divorce"
-Husband's
affairs
versus Wife's affairs

-
Abuse
towards Women

-
Custody
of Children and Finances

-Based off of
Christianity

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman's
personal divorce
from Charles Stetson


"Domestication"
- Piety, Purity, Domesticity, and Submissiveness

-Home protection, security, fragility

-Republican Virtues

-Education (reading & writing)

-Careers
"Treatment in a Predominantly Male Society"
Examples:

"I must put this away,--he hate to have me write a word."

"He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him."

"Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,--to dress and entertain, and order things."


Examples of Belittlement:

-"blessed little goose" , "little girl" , & "Bless her little heart!"


-"I know John would think it absurd."



"The Rest Cure"
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman:

A Historical and Psychological/Psychoanalytical Insight
- treated postpartum depression and other psychological issues of previous eras

-developed by Weir Mitchell (mentioned)

-cure
>
sickness & women
>
men

-months of seclusion (3), bed-rest, no working, and domesticity
Characterization of Postpartum Depression in "The Yellow Wallpaper"
-"nervous" & "nervous weakness"

-"excited fancies" & "imaginative power"

-"they suddenly commit suicide" (ref. to wallpaper)

-"I'm getting dreadfully fretful and querulous"

-"I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time."


Characterization of the Rest Cure in "The Yellow Wallpaper"
-"I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change would do me good."



-"I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus--"



-"exercise, appetite, fresh air"



-"the house just for a three months rental"



-"writing which made me sick"



-"Half the time now I am awfully lazy, and lie down ever so much"

"Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Teenage Years"
-childhood (Harriet Beecher Stowe, father, mother, one brother, tomboy)

-education (reading, poor student, Rhode Island School of Design)

"Charlotte Gilman Perkins: Mid-Years"
-marriage and divorce (Charles Stetson, Katherine; daughter)

-The Rest Cure (diary; nervousness, suicidal thoughts, depression and divorce)

-After Divorce (travel, friendships, writing, and George Gilman; death)
"Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Later Years"
-Feminism (organizations, writings, magazines)

-Death (cancer and chloroform)

-Parallels to "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Historical Studies
Narrator
No story without child's birth.
narrators rebirth
like a child whose learning language
body stepping
mild to psychosis
Literary Perspective
&
Science and Authority
treated like a child
dismisses notation of liberation and imagination
controlling of men
Dr. Mitchell, trust
Physician P.O.V
Postpartum Depression
symptoms
1) Agitation, abnormal/obsessive thoughts
"unreasonably angry with John sometimes”
"never used to be so sensitive"
"...to look forward to, to watch...it because of the wallpaper."

2) Inability to sleep or eat (Insomnia)
"I don't sleep much at night"

"I don’t weigh a bit more,’ said I,‘nor as much; and my appetite may be better in the evening when you are here but it is worse in the morning when you are away!"
3) Exhilaration, Confusion, Hallucination, Altered/Impaired Concept of Reality
“Life is very much more exciting now than it used to be. You see, I have something more to expect, to look forward to, to watch…it was because of the wallpaper”

" I have really discovered something at last... front pattern does move- and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it..."
Mental Illness
Susan J. Herbert
not real
prison
bars on window...
shadow images
Psychological/Psychoanalytic
"it is due to [her] nervous condition"

"temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency."
"John is a physician, and perhaps- (I would not say it to a living soul of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)- perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster."
“I am getting angry enough to do something desperate. To jump out of the window would be admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong even to try”
The narrator appears to be suffering from depression.
The narrator's husband John rents a house.
The narrator remains in her bedroom.
The narrator is forbidden to write.
She remains in her room, and is disgusted and fascinated by the yellow wallpaper.
She begins to see figures and patterns in the design.
The story ends as the narrator descends into madness after ripping out the paper and freeing "herself".
"Six Word Conclusion"
The woman was simply her shadow.
By Josh John, Neethu Isaac, and Celestina Sunny
Full transcript