The Notion of Confinement in The Yellow Wallpaper by Gilman Critical Essay Sample

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Literature review
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This is a short work of fiction that is about unequal marriage and a destroyed woman by her unfulfilled desire for self-expression. The work actually has a heavy draw on a particularly painful episode in Gilman’s own life. In this work done by Gilman, he has used a couple of literal devices. These literal devices are for example there is the device of Polysyndeton which we can say is a scheme of repetition and deliberately uses the repletion of conjunctions for example and.

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What Literary Devices Are Used in the Yellow Wallpaper?

Then we have anaphora which is also another repletion scene. Repeats beginning words, Parenthesis is another scheme of word order that veers from the traditional structure, parallelism which presents a similar structure in terms of phrasing and clause construction. Gilman also used quotations in his work of which are; Life is very much more exciting now than it used to be, There are things in that wallpaper that nobody knows about it, but me, or ever will, I’m getting really fond of the room in spite of the wallpaper Perhaps because of the wallpaper. It dwells on my mind. I don’t like to look out of the windows even there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast. I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did? I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house.

The Yellow Wallpaper Confinement Theme

As the story is confinement is one major thing that goes on here. Examples of elements of confinement can be mentioned as windows having bars, the heavy means the immovable bed and the gate at the bottom of the stairs. This whole story or narrative is all about a woman who is being locked up. Thus the author is trying to bring out a point on why not a woman should be enclosed in order to bring out her inner spirit or help her discover herself though she keeps hanging on to her beliefs about something or somewhere. As every story goes every story has a theme or themes depending on the story or narrative.

The Symbolism of the Wallpaper in the Yellow Wallpaper

In this particular narrative, there are several themes, motifs, and a symbol. These are: women being subordinated into marriage is one of the themes, self-expression as one of the importance, the evils of the resting cure. As mentioned earlier there are also some motifs which in this case include: irony - In verbal irony, words are frequently used to convey the exact opposite of their literal meaning, such as when one person responds to another’s mistake by saying nice work and the journal- epistolary is what the narrative is all about in which the narrator writes to herself and there is the symbol which is the wallpaper - this is driven by the narrator’s sense that the wallpaper is a text she must interpret, that it symbolizes something that affects her directly.


The content of this revised edition helps us understand and be able to analyze the concept of the narrative which is originally written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It helps emphasize the feminine issue as stated and helps us think more about how to deal with these kinds of situations.

Works Cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. [Waiheke Island]: Floating Press, 2009. Print

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