Gothic in "The Yellow Wallpaper" Book Review by Quality Writers

Gothic in "The Yellow Wallpaper"
An analysis of 19th century Gothic literary theory in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
# 105033 | 2,028 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jun 27, 2008 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper discusses how the premise of the "gothic" in Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" reveals the social, domestic, and psychological factors that imprison and terrify the story's narrator. It looks at how the gothic sensibility of this story is revealed through the way that psychology is used through a patriarchal construct in order to control housewives in a male-dominated 19th century gothic household. The paper also examines how the domestic sphere of the narrator's house severely limited her ability to find broader social spheres in which she might find liberation from this patriarchy.

From the Paper:

"The gothic tradition in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the deeply embedded in the psychological interior of the narrator's mind, as she must face the gothic patriarchy of her husband. "The narrator's complex vision of the horrors of patriarchy in the "The Yellow Wallpaper" is only matched by the final complex and horrific vision of the senseless and crawling, infantile narrator in a posture that literalizes what she has implied is woman's position in America" (Davison 66). Indeed the climax of the tale depicts John's misdiagnosis of his wife's "minor" problem and disproves his authority in a subversion conclusion when he who "never was nervous in his life" reacts by fainting, thus assuming the traditional role of frail femme (Davison 66)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bak, John. "Escaping the Jaundiced Eye: Foucauldian Panopticism in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." Studies in Short Fiction v31.n1 (Winter 1994): pp39(8)
  • Davison, Margaret Carol. "Haunted House/Haunted Heroine: Female Gothic Closets in "the Yellow Wallpaper." Women's Studies 33 (2004): 47-75.
  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper." The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Ed. Cassill R.V, Bausch Richard. New York, N.Y: Norton, 2000. 675-687.
  • Hogle, Jerrald. "The Gothic at Our Turn of the Century: Our Culture of Simulation and the Return of the Body." Essays and Studies (Annual 2001): p153(6).

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