Discuss the characters in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Expert Answers info

carol-davis eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Published in 1891, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman introduces the idea of post-partum depression. Although Gilman did not put a name to this illness, today’s physicians and psychiatrist do acknowledge this disease.  In 1903, the author wrote an explanation for why she wrote this story:

For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia--and beyond. I went to a noted specialist in nervous diseases, the best known in the country. He prescribed complete bed rest and isolation.

Other than the unnamed narrator, the character most important to the protagonist is her husband John.   Central to the story, John controls the narrator, John relates to his wife through his interpretation of the narrator’s illness; furthermore, he appears to love his wife, providing constant positive feedback.

In the beginning, the reader feels that John places in wife in a situation which leads to her loss of control. As the story progresses, it is...

(The entire section contains 549 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now



check Approved by eNotes Editorial