The Yellow Wallpaper

English 110

March 15, 2004


Many short stories are strange, one of which is “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. There are three things that describe this story. The first strange thing in this story is the setting. The second strange thing is the characters in this story. The third strange thing is the events that take place in the story.

The first strange thing in this story is the setting. Three things of the setting make the story strange. The first strange thing is the colonial mansion, which the narrator describes as a haunted house. For example, the mansion was empty for years, and the woman says it has a ghostliness about it. The second strange thing is the yellow wallpaper in the nursery room. Fro example, after a time, she begins to see the wallpaper transform into a woman. The third strange thing is that the woman says the house is beautiful and quite alone. For example, the mansion is three miles from the village somewhat like a jail because the wife never gets to leave without an escort.

The second strange thing is the characters in the story. There are three characters, the narrator (wife), john (husband), and Jennie (sister-in-law/ housekeeper). The main character, the wife is described as having temporary nervous depression, or as she describes herself, as sick. For example, the wife is been held in a nursery where the wallpaper is horrendous and she begins to imagine a woman in the paper. The second character is her husband, who is a physician and diagnoses his wife with temporary nervous depression. For example the husband was giving her medication, moved her to a secluded mansion in a room on the last floor, instead of having her express her thoughts and emotions to a therapist, be a mother to her baby, and writing, as she loved to do. The third character is Jennie, who is there to be the wife’s and baby’s sitter and to housekeep. For example, she cleans the wife’s room (nursery) and reports to her brother everything that she finds and witnesses throughout the day.

The third strange thing is the events that take place in the story. There are there events that take place. First, the husband takes his wife to a secluded mansion. For example, the wife begins to imagine things in the wallpaper. The second event is when the wife admits to herself that she sees a woman (stooping down and creeping about) in the wallpaper. For example, one night the wife is in bed with her husband and sees the woman shaking the pattern as if she is trying to escape the horrid room. The third event is when the wife thinks she is helping the woman of the wallpaper escape. For example, the wife waits up on the last night in the mansion to help the woman escape by ripping the paper off the walls.

In conclusion, these three things explain how the story is strange front beginning to end. It is strange through the setting, characters, and events. The first thing is the setting; it illustrates how this story is strange when the wife gives her thoughts and opinions about the mansion. The second thing is the characters and how each of the act and change throughout the story. The third thing is the events that took place and how they illustrate the strangeness in this story. My opinion is that the husband did not realize that his chose was the correct one because his wife completely loses her mind by the end of the trip. This could have been prevented it if he spent more quality time with her.