How can I write an introduction to a paper on The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Depending on your central idea, the introduction of any essay related to a work of literature must state, at the very start, exactly what your topic statement is.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” there are many significant themes that often come up as topics of conversation, and as prompts to expand upon in writing. One of the most salient themes is postpartum depression and its effects on the main character. Another topic is how the male-dominated society of the time remained oblivious to the true needs of women in nearly every dimension, from the health industry to the marital bed.

If you decided already your main argument, be sure to write it at the start of the paragraph, and back it up with at least 3 supporting statements that will add not just evidence, but rationale, to that statement.  An example of an introductory paragraph on the topic of marital neglect in Gilman’s society would look something like this.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the main character is a victim of marital neglect; this is evidence of the social mindset of the time. (Support statement 1)- The unnamed main character, who clearly suffers from postpartum depression, is put in isolation by her husband and her doctor, both males, in a time when she needs more family and moral support than ever. (Support statement 2) Her symptoms are taken for granted by her husband, who lacks overall knowledge about the needs his wife.(Support statement 3)  Moreover, his solution to the problem is to “put her away” rather help her in any way he can. (Concluding statement) This shows that social mindset of the time did not include the moral and emotional support of women, even during a time as delicate as post-pregnancy.   

Once that introductory paragraph is completed, you will dedicate the body of the essay to expand upon the three supporting statements, which will help you back up your thesis even more. Do not forget to close the essay with a concluding paragraph that essentially, once again, supports your introduction. This will make your essay come to a full circle.

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