The Yellow Wallpaper Character Analysis

8 August 2016

The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, portrays the life of a nameless narrator who struggles to connect with reality. I have chosen the narrator to analyze because her character is continuously changing throughout the entire story and is very intriguing. In the beginning of the story she seems quite normal; loving of her husband and expressive of her ideas. But, as the story progresses the narrator begins to lose her sanity, she becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper on her bedroom walls, and gets “stuck” inside of it.

Throughout the story the narrator’s character develops quite a bit. At the begininng, aside from suffering of nervous depression, the character can be described as a normal person. She even points out to the reader that she feels normal when she calls herself “ordinary”. This however is drastically different from how she is at the end of the story. The main reason she eventually suffered from a mental breakdown was the way her husband restrained her within the house.

The Yellow Wallpaper Character Analysis Essay Example

She was constantly under his supervision and he never let her do anything. With no way to express her emotions and get out, the narrator took a liking to just sitting and staring at a wall. She easily became obsessed with the yellow wallpaper until it was all she thought about and she lost her connection to reality. It was a way for her to be free of her husbands controlling behavior; it was her little fantasy world. The narrator quickly went from being normal to going insane.

Some say that at the end of the story, when she rips off the wallpaper to symbolize her freedom from her marriage and society, she becomes sane again. I disagree with this because I believe the narrator never recovered from her insanity. In Charlotte Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the nameless narrator struggles to keep her sanity while trapped by her husband’s overprotective ways. The husband never let her express her thoughts or do anything fun which led to the great change in the narrator’s character.

In the beginning the nameless woman was quite normal but as the story unfolds she goes completely insane. Stuck in a room most of the day she became fixated with her yellow wallpaper and began seeing things, such as moving patterns, inside the yellow walls. I may not be able to relate at all to this character but I thought her mental breakdown was really interesting and thats why I chose to do a character analysis on her.

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