The Yellow Wallpaper

"Personally, I Disagree With Their Ideas"

"Personally, I disagree with their ideas." One of the opening statements of "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this quote sums up the point of the text. Gilman becomes incensed at the way doctors and society view women. This short story is an up-close account of a woman who suffers from mental illness. It is written in a way that makes readers relate to the experience of slowly going crazy. An important element in the story is the cause of her worsening condition; the narrator attributes it to the way her husband and brother stifle her and prohibit her from writing and having stimulating friends visit. Through this female character, Gilman personally disagrees with the social expectations of the late 19th century. She asserts that women should not be viewed as physically or intellectually fragile, but instead should have the freedom to engage in active pleasures like writing, reading, and scholarly discussion.

Though the narrator does become more and more mentally unstable throughout the story, her character is positively presented. The tone of the writing is light and playful. Many exclamation points are used to convey her excitement, and pleasant words constantly issue forth from her mouth...

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