Essay «The Yellow Wallpaper»

This is the first essay of the year in literature, I made it with Catu Grosso about the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” that we have been analyzing  in our literature class.



The “Yellow WallPaper” is a gothic story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The protagonist is a woman who was diagnosticated of an after birth depression, she had recently been a mother and her child was taken away because of this “depression” she had. John, is her husband who is a professional and during the story we can identify that in many ways he could be the villain of the story. In the following essay we are going to analyse if John is really the villain of the story.


The setting of the story is in the 19ºth century, at this time the enlightenment changed everyone’s way of thinking, science started being more important than god or religion. People started looking for scientifics answers and  John was a doctor and we can say is the epitome of positivism, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband assures there is a temporary nervous depression”, he truly believed he was doing the right things to help his wife. John left aside his feelings and emotions, he was more concerned about the medical results, than what she was feeling “-dear, you are better … -Better in body perhaps” he was making her say what he wanted to listen. He told her she looked better, physically she was happier and not so skinny, but she responds that she was not feeling better in her inside, maybe on the outside, the appearance, “John does not know how much I really suffer” she was hiding and repressing her feelings and thoughts so that John would not be scared nor send her to an hospital,“But john says that if I don’t get well faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall”, He was convinced that was a temporary illness and maybe she was just being herself.


John was prohibiting her wife to express herself, to be free. He forbidden her to read or write “There comes John, and I must put this away, he hates to have me write a word” The woman was alone and bored, it was not fair that John didn’t let her read nor write. Also, the woman asked him to change to another bedrooms, she felt that there was something wrong about that room, but John behave as an ignorant and told her they were going to stay up there because is was better for her, “Then do let us go downstairs” but they didn’t, they stay at that room which made her feel uncomfortable and nervous at the beginning.

When John put her wife in that room, isolated from the rest of the house, when he didn’t let her do exercise, write about anything or even to see her own baby it was because he thought that he was doing the right thing, he was helping her wife. ”John is a physician and perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster” he wasn’t the indicated doctor that would have made her feel better, he was a physician but he was absolutely convinced that he was doing the right thing, that he was helping the person he loved and he was married with. “John says the worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad” the narrator here confess that some things that John was doing, made her feel better. So he was trying to help, and he didn’t knew he was not doing the right things.

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