Identify the narrative style of "The Yellow Wallpaper." What is the effect of this style of narrative in developing the main character? How does it influence how the reader understands the main...
Identify the narrative style of "The Yellow Wallpaper." What is the effect of this style of narrative in developing the main character? How does it influence how the reader understands the main character?
"The Yellow Wallpaper" is told from a subjective, first-person point of view. The narrator is keeping a journal account of what is happening to her, written in a conversational style as if she is talking directly to the reader. We know she is writing because she notes:
There comes John, and I must put this away,—he hates to have me write a word.
She later states:
I don’t know why I should write this.
The style of the journaling becomes more and more stream-of-consciousness as the story progresses, which has the effect of making us feel more and more that we are inside the head of the narrator, experiencing events as if we were her. This is increasingly disorienting, but it helps us understand how the treatment she is receiving for what appears to be postpartum depression isn't working, and is, in fact, worsening her problems, leading her finally to decompose entirely. By not providing the kind of narrative distance an objective third-person narrator would impose, Gilman insures we are...
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