The Yellow Wallpaper: Blog Post


Within the study of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman , in class and when reading it alone, there is a sense of oppression and limiting self-expression. The narrator’s husband, John, places mental restraints on her which cause more harm than the physical isolation that she is placed in. The “resting cure” that her husband places her on is evidently what causes her undoing. The story starts off with the narrator writing in her journal, explaining her surroundings and the house that John has taken her to help her heal. She is already showing her disagreement with John’s treatment plan just my writing in her journal, which we soon learn is not allowed. The narrator states  “…and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again.”(25) this is the directions from both John and her brother, who believe that her writing causes her too much stress and will exacerbate her condition. In spite of this the narrator continues to write in her journal, keeping it a secret from everyone else around her. Having to hide her self-expression increasingly ways on the narrator. She is forced to suppress all her anxieties and fears in order to keep up the appearance of a happy marriage and make it seem like she is beating her disease. In my opinion, John forbidding her to write was the worse decision for the narrator. It caused her to hide and be secretive which led to her disease increasing not healing. The narrator slowly isolates herself into what she believes to be her reality, and the repression of her self-expression slowly drives her insane. She begins to spend long periods of time within the room with the yellow wallpaper, and starts to believe that she is being trapped within it. The more she hides from John and her sister the more she believes to be finding herself which is not the case. I think that if she had been able to express herself and write in her journal then the story could’ve had a different outcome. But the fact that she was unable to do so allowed her disease to overcome her.

-Laura Bjarnason