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Setting in The Yellow Wallpaper

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In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator is suffering from a nervous depression which was a slight hysterical tendency. John, which was her physician and husband did not believe that there was anything wrong. Of course, during the 19th-century mental illnesses were not fully understood at all, so John felt as if there was nothing wrong. To overcome her depression, John decides to rent a house for three months and keep her in a room to get perfect rest. Unfortunately, when she sees the room, the first thing she notices was the uncleaned yellow wallpaper.

Throughout the story, I noticed how John was always away on days and even some nights when cases were serious. Sadly, the narrator felt as if John didn’t too much care for her, so she was glad her case wasn’t as serious as his others. The fact that John didn’t realize how much she suffered just because he was basing it off of his opinion made him look bad during the story. All she wanted to do was get well faster and return to her normal self. If it was me being trapped in a room, I would be willing to occupy myself the best way I could, but instead, the narrator decided to obsess with the room’s yellow wallpaper. Moving on, she did notice that the wallpaper had a smell to it that went through the entire house. As a reader, the first thing I did notice was how mentally the narrator was suffering from problems because she was trying to free a woman in the yellow wallpaper.

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Once their three months were almost up at the house, the narrator and her husband noticed that her life was becoming so much better to the point where she was eating and having more to expect. Jennie, which was John’s sister asked the narrator if she could sleep with her, which was obviously weird after the fact that she saw Jennie touching the wallpaper. With under one week left to stay, the narrator was demanded to peel the wallpaper until John walked in and caught her. He was so shocked that all he could do was faint, but that didn’t stop her from creeping around the room because she realized that she finally got out at last.

Overall, at the beginning of the story, I was a bit confused about what was going on. As I continued to read, the details were coming together making the story somewhat interesting. Honestly, I didn’t get what the writer was trying to accomplish during the story. The technique that was used didn’t explain the situation thoroughly and caused it harder to understand. In my opinion, I don’t believe the wallpaper was the cause of her depression to increase. Before she got into the room she was apparently already sick mentally, but her obsession with the wallpaper forced her mind to open. Since John chose to leave her in the room alone, she felt as if she was locked away in her mind to the point where she was never going to be free. When she caught eyes on the women in the wallpaper, she noticed that it was her opportunity to live by setting them free, even if they weren’t real. Basically, the women that were trapped in the wallpaper were a representation of herself, so that meant she could only free them and taste their freedom, instead of her own. In conclusion, this story involved a lot of thinking outside of it, but I would love to read more stories like this one because I felt like it was a mystery story, but mainly it was based on the author’s real-life and treatment. 


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