yellow paper

yellow paper

The Yellow Paper


Character Analysis

John is a physician who is out almost every night. He works in the town. He tells his wife that he only wants the best for her; but he makes every decision regarding her life, right down to whom she gets to hang out with and to where she gets to sleep. The narrator writes that her husband John is "practical in the extreme." According to her, "He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures. FREDERIKKE

" As such, John embodies a supreme rationality that makes it difficult for the narrator to convince him of her sincere discomfort with her bedroom and the shapes that she sees within the wallpaper. Only his opinions count, for instance, when it comes to diagnosing the narrator’s illness. Though John seems like the obvious villain of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the story does not allow us to see him as wholly evil. John’s treatment of the narrator’s depression goes terribly wrong, but he was trying to help her no to make her worse. John is so sure that he knows what’s best for his wife that he disregards her own opinion of the matter, forcing her to hide her true feelings. SIMON

He calls her “a blessed little goose”, “little girl”(Imature women) and rejects her smallest wishes, such as when he refuses to switch bedrooms. He does not intend to harm her, but his ignorance about what she really needs ultimately proves dangerous. John knows his wife only superficially. He sees the “outer pattern” but misses the trapped, struggling woman inside. He cares for his wife, but the unequal relationship in which they find themselves prevents him from truly understanding her and her problems. THOMAS

By treating her as a “case” or a “wife” and not as a person with a will of her own, he helps destroy her, which is the last thing he wants. That John has been destroyed by this imprisoning relationship is made...

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