The Yellow Wallpaper

How does the stream of consciousness influence readers?

What effect does Gilman try to bring with stream of consciousness?

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The stream of consciousness in the narration allows the reader to join Jane step by step as she descends into madness. In essence, the Jane we see at the beginning of the story could be any woman of the time. She doesn't work, she tends house, and she allows her husband control over her life. She is dutiful, but she is also weak.

As the story progresses we see the narrator's attempts to garner her husband's attention. She knows something is wrong, but the doctor (yes, her husband is a doctor) simply placates her, puts her to bed, and constricts her movements. He banishes her to the room with the yellow wallpaper, and she sinks deeper and deeper into insanity. Through her stream of consciousness, we are able to feel her pain and impending doom. She's treated like a little girl, and she withdraws into a world a little girl fantasies.


The Yellow Wallpaper