Where My Love For Writing & Thinking Meet

How We Can Use Jürgen Wolter’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper”: The Ambivalence of Changing Discourses on The Honors Exam to Analyze This Reading
March 11, 2017, 6:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I apologize for not promptly putting up my blog post on my presentation from last week. I had to type up my notes onto the PowerPoint and export it as a PDF to attach to this post. I have not been able to do the latter because I’m not tech savvy. Apparently, I can’t make attachments on the post, and I do not know how to access the link to a PowerPoint PDF from a Mac. I will add all the notes from my slides below, as well as explain how we can use this source.

On one of my slides, I spoke briefly about our author’s history: Her name is Charlotte Perkins Gilman, but she was formerly known as Charlotte Perkins Stetson. She was born in Harford, Connecticut on July 3, 1860 and died in California on August 17, 1935. In her early 70s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which presumably caused her to commit suicide 3 years later. She was a well-known American sociologist, novelist, and feminist. She came from an influential background, but her family was poor. Her father abandoned her family when she was 4. She met Charles Stetson at the age of 23, and had a baby early on in their marriage. After birth, she sunk into a deep depression that lasted several years. She went to a well-known doctor at the time who prescribed her the rest cure. He told her not to touch a brush, pen, or pencil as long as she lived. This almost mentally ruined her, so she wrote this story to save people from being crazy. (Source: Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper)

Then I summarized the plot of the story and its emphasis on setting. Since our unnamed narrator kept referring back to the yellow wallpaper in the room she was residing in, I drew an association to gothic literature. Through the use of the Bedford Glossary, I defined gothic literature and its elements while applying them to “The Yellow Wallpaper.” For example, we have a mysterious narrator. She remains unnamed (this is controversial because some argues her name is Jane). Gothic literature also is big on setting, which is prevalent in our short story. Another correlation that could be drawn from gothic literature to our short story is the supernatural element, which arguably exists within the wallpaper when our narrator starts to see a woman or sometimes women.

I briefly also discussed the characters: Our unnamed character is currently living in a colonial mansion, more specifically a nursery room. Her place is currently undergoing renovations, and she has a baby. From the first sentence of the short story, we learn that our narrator is from the middle class, has a husband, and is a woman. John, her husband, is a physician and can be depicted as an overcaring or neglectful husband. Jennie, John’s sister, resides with our narrator and John as a maid figure. According to our narrator, she occasionally spies on her.

On the other hand, Wolter’s text analyzes the change in the use of the wallpaper’s interior decoration, debate on the color yellow, and effects on intellectual activity on the health of females. The last section of this work can be used to analyze “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a feminist text. This source was shared by the professor and in the last few pages under the last heading before the conclusion, we can see how Wolter construes this text to show how our narrator’s gender is ironically used. Wolter also notes how her husband, John, faints by the end of the short story, which was something that was commonly used to describe the sensitivity of females in Victorian era. Our narrator who is confined as a female in her society breaks through by the end as she tears away the yellow wallpaper itself. There are many other important connections Wolter makes throughout the last section of his argument that prove this text is a feministic reading.

I know this was a lot of information, but feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I apologize for not being able to upload the PowerPoint, but I’ve summarized everything here so you’re not missing anything but the visuals.

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar