Alienation and Loneliness in “The Yellow Wallpaper”
In the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator talks about several things: She feels she is sick and her brother and husband do not believe her, her husband moved her to a deserted house and keeps her isolated, he controls her every move, and she feels that she has no companionship. All of these things contribute to the theme of alienation and loneliness in this story. The Narrator is convinced she is sick; however, her brother and husband do not believe her. She says, “You see, he does not believe I am sick…If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency – what is one to do? My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing.” (Gilman 345). It is hurtful to her that her husband and brother do not believe her and she doesn’t know what to do about it. Of all people that she should be able to talk to and trust, her brother and husband instead have alienated her by not believing in her and if she doesn’t have family on her side, she must feel incredibly alone. Her husband moved her to a deserted house and isolated her in a large, poorly decorated and rundown bedroom. However, it is unclear whether he is doing it for her benefit or whether it is to control her. The narrator makes her husband sound very kind and loving when she says things like, “He said he came here solely on my account that I was to have perfect rest and all the air I could get.” (Gilman 346). But then, she says, “I don’t like our room a bit. I wanted one downstairs that opened onto the piazza and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hangings. But John would not hear of it.” (Gilman 346). If he were so caring, loving, and kind, why would it matter to him what bedroom she occupied during...
Cited: Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia. Seventh Edition. New York: Pearson, 2013. 345-355. Print.
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