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Yellow Wallpaper Essay, Research Paper

People are not always able to associate with their families. Sometimes they can put on an act in order to get along with the family; however, they do not really fit in. In the story Yellow Wallpaper , by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the wife does not fit in with the family in many different ways. She does, however, try her best to fit in.

One way that the author illustrates her not fitting with the family is because she is sick. She is living her life in a very depressed state, and John, her husband, does not want to believe it. The evidence of her being depressed is shown by how she sleeps all day and does not eat. John tries his best to believe that she is not sick, when in fact it shows through quite clearly that she is. Her husband tries to get her to do all different sorts of things to heal her. Yet he still denies that she is even the slightest bit sick. She says that she takes phosphates, and tonics, and gets air and exercise, and she is absolutely forbidden to work until she is well again (184). It is odd that John makes her do all this and still denies her sickness.

It seems as though the wife has a slight mental problem. This leads to yet another way that she does not fit in with the family. She imagines that there are things in the yellow wallpaper in her room. She states that, the front pattern does move and no wonder the woman behind shakes it (193). It seems as though her husband is really overlooking how serious her condition is. As the story goes on, she physically gets better, but she gets much worse mentally. She tells her husband that the woman behind the yellow wallpaper creeps around the room during the day. She also tells him that she likes to creep around just like the lady in the wallpaper. She thinks that by doing this she will catch the woman in the paper. She says, I ve got a rope up here even Jennie couldn t find and if that woman does get out, and tries to get away, I can tie her (195)! This just illustrates how distant she is becoming from her family.

Although she does not seem to fit in with her family, she at least makes a valiant attempt to fit in. She tries to do everything that she can in order to please her husband. The only reason she wants to get better is for him. As much as she would like to get better, she is just not doing that well. She took the medicine that her husband had given her. She tried to get all the fresh air that she could, and she tried her best to exercise. She started to rest and eat more, so that she could get better. Her husband believed that her writing was bad for her health. This caused her not to write while he was in her presence because she knew it would upset him. All this effort she put forward was just not enough. She still did not get better.

The family was both nurturing, and destructive at the same time, towards her. They tried everything that they could think of to help her get better. However the only way she would get better is if she did it on her own. Her family should not have restricted her from doing the things that she wanted. This was very destructive towards her and did not help her to get better. In fact this only made her get worse.

It is sad when one does not fit in with their own family, but sometimes it happens. Sometimes it is inevitable to live up to the expectations of others. Not everyone is classified as what is normal and not everyone can always get along with his or her family. It is important to try your hardest to get along with your family members. However, not everything always goes according to plan.

Works Cited

Gilman, Charlotte. The Yellow Wallpaper. Reading and Writing from Literature. Ed. John E. Schweibert. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. 184-195


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