English 11 Honors
4 October 2018
Oppression of Women in the Nineteenth Century
“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a short story that is told in first person by the unnamed protagonist. The main character and her husband, John, stay in a leased mansion during the summer to help the protagonist recuperate from what John, a high standing physician, believes to be a temporary nervous depression. There, John confines her to one room in hopes of improving her health, but instead drives the young woman to insanity. Throughout the story, the narrator provides insight on her thoughts, feelings, and perceptions through a series of journal entries. “The Yellow Wallpaper” provides a glimpse of the oppression of women during the nineteenth century through one woman’s struggle to deal with physical and mental confinement as represented by the setting, her husband, and the yellow wallpaper.
The setting of this gothic horror story sets the scene for the narrator’s first instance of isolation. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is set in the late 1800s. The narrator commences her first journal entry by describing the home that she and her husband have just leased. Upon viewing the building, the protagonist describes the house as