The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

The story begins with the narrator describing the mansion they’ve rented for that summer. She expresses amazement at it being let out so cheaply and assumes there must be something queer about it. Her husband, John laughs at her, and she claims one can expect that in marriage. A physician, John is extremely practical and she suspects that is the reason she is getting better so slowly.

Both John and her brother are physicians and claim there is nothing wrong with her, just a slight hysterical tendency. And they assure her relatives of the same. Claiming that fresh air and calm life will cure her of her hysterical tendencies.

She claims her husband won’t listen to her and does not let her do any activities. Not even write. She hides her diary and writer whenever she is alone. She is not allowed to do any activity besides domestic chores. She is also treated as if she was a child and her concerns are not listened to. She thinks something is funny about the house, as it has been empty for so long, but John dismisses her concerns as frivolous and makes her rest. She confesses that she misses her writing and her conversations with others.

She is made to move into the upstairs room, even though she detests it and wants the one downstairs. The room has peeling wallpaper that is a sickly yellow and has barred windows. Due to this, she assumes it used to be a nursery. This yellow wallpaper is repellent to her. She describes how much she hates it with much detail. She grows obsessed with it, due to the lack of any other stimulus. She hides her diary from John and his sister and continues studying the pattern of the wallpaper when she is away from them. Growing more and more convinced that the wallpaper has a malevolent force, she imagines she can see a woman behind the top pattern. She tries to convince her husband that they need to leave the house, but John refuses claiming that she is getting better.

Her depression and fatigue worsen. And her obsession with the wallpaper takes over her life. She starts becoming obsessed with uncovering the secrets the wallpaper’s pattern holds. She also starts growing paranoid about John and his sister. Her belief that the figure in the wallpaper is a creeping woman, trying to escape, makes her determined to help her escape her prison. She starts tearing at the wallpaper. Even on the eve of their departure, she attempts to remove the wallpaper. When all furniture has been removed for their moving, and only the bed stand remains, she locks the door from inside, throws the key out the window, and starts tearing the wallpaper.

As the story climaxes, we see that she has suffered a complete mental breakdown. She is now convinced that the woman trapped behind the wallpaper was her and she begins to creep around the room in an endless circle, much as she suspected the woman to be doing initially. Breaking into the room, John discovers her and faints at her sight, yet she continues creeping about, even going over him to complete the circle.

Above story is the adaptation of the story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Shared by Mansidak Kaur.

Monika Gupta
montavayaconsultants@gmail.com