The Yellow Wallpaper
Charlotte Gilman beautifully portrays a very complex character in "The Yellow Wallpaper." She suffers from post-partum depression and is taken to "colonial mansion" by her husband, John, to recover, but instead she heads down the road of insanity. In the beginning the narrator is a very emotionally imaginative woman who choices to express herself through her secret journal. She is under the care of her husband, who is a doctor, and part of her cure is to turn her imagination off. She is told to lie in bed and that sleep is very good for her. From the very beginning she is driven to please John, but during her treatment she rebels. Through her growing imagination she takes the neutral objects in her room, and she produces frustration that leads to fascination. The narrator is first viewed as a happy woman, who understands the love in between her husband and her, but the fascination she acquires drives her to be looked upon as paranoid and psychotic.
The narrator of "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a round and dynamic character, and her main struggle is internal. In the beginning she reveals her ability to understand John's actions. "Dear John! He loves me very dearly, and hates to have me sick".
She is forced to live in a previous nursery. In this new bedroom, the bed is nailed to the floor, the windows are barred, and the walls are covered in yellow wallpaper that she describes as: One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide - plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard contradictions.
In this isolation she begins to hallucinate and she envisions a woman trapped behind the wallpaper. "There is a recurrent spot where the paper lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you...