Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" Book Review by amw7711

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Presents a literary analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"
# 111850 | 2,330 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Feb 01, 2009 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Women Studies (Women and Society)

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This paper cites critics' theories about Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", which the author claims over looks other portions of Gilman's literary genius. The author points out that Gilman wittingly connects the majority of the imagery and symbolism in the text to the archetype of the number three. As an archetype, Gilman uses the number three in her text in a fashion, which mocks maternity and birth. The paper concludes that a close analysis of the text provides readers with the notion that Gilman not only strongly opposes the patriarchy of the field of medicine, but also combats the ideas of motherhood in their entirety through the usage of this number.

From the Paper:

"It seems appropriate that the narrator describes the mansion as a "haunted house" because writers of this time period often used dwellings as symbols of confinement, even going as far to represent the female womb. Gilman seems to have at least connected the narrator's depression with the baby in someway because it is possible that the "haunted house" in which she places the narrator, is in fact representative of the narrator's haunted womb, in that the baby is to blame for her current state of depression."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Barker, Fordyce. The Puerperal Diseases: Clinical Lectures Delivered at Bellevue Hospital. New York: Appleton, 1883, 172-84; 189-91.
  • Depression During and After Pregnancy. National Women's Health Information Center. April, 2005, Online:
  • Duplicated from Shari Benstock, ed. Feminist Issues in Literary Scholarship. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1986. 62-78, by permission of Indiana UP. Hereafter cited as (Treichler).
  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper" edited by Dale M. Bauer: Cultural and Historical Background. Boston: Bedford Books, 1998: 6.
  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography. 1935. Introd. Ann Lane. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1990.

Cite this Book Review:

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