Assignment #8 - The Yellow Wallpaper

SELF PORTRAIT // THE YELLOW WALLPAPER

READING // The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

After a while, I needed to put my English major hat back on :) This was definitely an interesting reading but also extremely disturbing. When you think crazy, it usually hits you immediately/is immediately evident, but to read the first person account of someone's descent into madness is frightening. As an artist and woman, the idea of being prevented from any sort of mental stimulation is a little scary.

Essentially she is trapped by the wallpaper but her obsession of it also sets her free. I think in the beginning the woman in the wall is a representation of the narrator's mental stimulation but then she eventually becomes that very woman, saying "I am finally free" etc. so after ripping away the stifling wallpaper she can finally be free. The wallpaper was a symbol of her constraint but also the reason she was able to break free from being stifled. (Ironically, to the outside world and her husband, her "freedom" seems like madness - how many general people feel that way about artists?)