Wallpaper Madness

In The Yellow Wallpaper we meet a woman through the writings of her journal pages. It is up

to our imagination to figure out what she looks like, but we do know she is a new mother, so I believe she is

in her late twenties to early thirties. In her first journal entry, we find out she has some sort of illness, and

later on one can figure out that she has a mental disorder. She writes things down that a normal person

would in her first entry, but she progressively gets crazier. She gives clues that she has always been a bit far

out there. She says that when she was a child, walls and furniture would entertain and scare her. This gives

clues to her imagining the things she sees in the wallpaper.

The focus of her journaling is the yellow wallpaper. At first she hates it and wants to switch rooms,

but then she gradually in fascinated by it and wants to stay until she figures it out. She spends hours and

hours just staring at it. I find it ironic how the bars are over the windows and the bed in bolted down. She

tells us that she thinks the room was once a nursery. But I think it was a room for an insane person like


Being held in the house with limited outside would make a sane person go insane, let alone

a person who is already a bit crazy. She increasingly grew worse as she was in that house. In a way, I think

John, her husband, wanted her to go crazy, he controlled everything about her. By not allowing her write

was a mistake because writing more would have given her progress.

She talks about how beautiful things are in her first entries. But gradually her senses get warped.

She begins to try to master the wallpaper and figure out what it is, and when she does she speaks of a

woman peaking out behind it and creeping around. Of course I believe it is all in her head. The woman

represents her mind, and in a way, she is creeping herself, to write in her journal. She becomes almost

jealous and defensive about the wallpaper. She accuses Jennie and John of trying to look and figure out the

wallpaper also. She is very delusional

When she talks about the odor of the paper, I think that is a clear clue of her insanity. She is the

only one who smells it. She tries to describe what the paper smells like, but she just comes up with an unreal

answer. The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell.

When she finally figured out the paper, I can picture her being so proud of herself. When she does figure it

out, it is the brink of her illness, she is finally there. She has become the paper. She no longer

wants to go outside into the green, she wants to be in the room with yellow all around her. The final step

into her world of insanity is her tearing the wallpaper off the walls. She in now trapped in this world and can

never escape from it.

When John enters the room and faints, the only thing she is concerned about is that he is in her way

and she will have to creep around him. He faints because he realizes that she is deep into insanity. This

means he will probably have to institutionalize her.

I am confused about one odd thing. I wonder how she could write as John entered the room. I

would assume they would have taken her away from that place, without her journal.

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