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help with The Yellow Wallpaper? From The Yellow Wallpaper discuss at least 3 of the...

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briela13 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM via web

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help with The Yellow Wallpaper?

From The Yellow Wallpaper discuss at least 3 of the ways in which the un-named protagonist of the story is confined and limited, and how those limitations contribute to her mental breakdown


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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM (Answer #1)

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The narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is limited in her restriction from mental activity, confinement in her room and in not being listened to with regard to her own mental decline.

As a woman suffering from post natal depression, the writer is prescribed a ‘rest-cure’ which was a legitimate way of treating female patients who exhibited signs of mental distress. Unfortunately, as an intelligent and creative woman, the narrator is at first stifled by the limitations of not being allowed to read, write or talk to anyone. She then develops an inner world of her own, where she seeks to rescue the woman she believes is trapped by the hideous wallpaper.

I didn't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman.

The room in which she resides is an old nursery, which has barred windows. She sees only her husband, who treats her like a child, and her sister-in-law, Jennie. The narrator is not fond of the house from the beginning-

 I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity - but that would be asking too much of fate!

Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it.

She is particularly disturbed by the wallpaper, but her husband will not allow the house to be decorated. Her description of the interior show how oppressive her room is:

He said that after the wall-paper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs, and so on.

Her husband refuses to see that her mental condition is deteriorating, despite his medical training.

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?

Having tried to tell him of her strange thoughts, she resolves to hide her declining mental health as she becomes more suspicious of the wallpaper, and of her husband-

The fact is I am getting a little afraid of John.

He seems very queer sometimes.








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