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Charlotte Gilman “Yellow Wallpaper”

Updated August 29, 2022

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Charlotte Gilman “Yellow Wallpaper” essay

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In the narrators husband John is known to act like a villain. For being a physician, he knows his wife is going through a nervous depression. John does lock her up in a yellow room that he calls a “nursery” and takes away everything she loves so she does not stress. He leaves his wife in the room, but only to see if she gets better. So, is John really the villain in this story? John is not similar to a villain, but several times throughout the story, he does have good and bad intentions. To begin with, we know for certain that John is a physician and tries to do what he believes is right for his wife’s health just like he would with any other patient. John believes isolating her is the solution to her problems. He does not care for her opinion, he believes in science and believes that she is going to be health again but that does not quite happen. In the story The Yellow Wallpaper: Overview Short Story,1892 by Linda she explains how John shuts out her interactions “Shut off from all normal interactions and locked into what John calls a nursery but which smack of a space used previously for incarceration.” He uses his studies to try and help his wife but he is not acting as a villain, but some people may think so because he gets on his wife’s nerves.

Furthermore, John does care about the health of his wife and tries to get her back to health. He cannot help her at all because he just does not believe she is really ill. He doesn’t notice when she is trying to express herself “…John would not hear of it.” It is very difficult to know exactly what goes through her mind and spirit. In the story The Yellow Wallpaper: Overview Short Story,1892 by Linda Martin Makes it clear that he doesn’t care for her opinion “…listening to her is the last thing on his agenda.” So, we realize John does have good intentions to heal his wife so he follows what he believes is right other than listening to his wife. It’s not his intentions to harm him, he just wants her back to normal. Despite this, we must give him the benefit of the doubt.

He does have some moments where he helps his wife, which he does not know that means so much to her. For example, when she tried to express her feelings but failed when and started crying uncontrollably, and then he “…gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed and sat by me and read to me till he tired my head”, he did what was best for his wife. It is in this moments that we come to respect John, and we understand that everything he does, he does out of love. In the story, The Yellow Wallpaper: Overview Short Story,1892 by Linda Martin describe that John has brained washed her to thinking what he is doing is best for her “…she has been convinced that what John does is best for her.” It might be what he thinks is best for most people but maybe not his wife. Therefore, he does show some bad decision’s, because he has good and caring intentions but he doesn’t know what might be good for her. In contrast, the woman listens to what her husband tells her to do, and realizes he is not always right but decides to not make him angry.

She trusts him, and so she tries to get better because her husband gives her everything they need, “he takes all care for me, and so I feel basely ungrateful not to value it more.”, she puts up with everything John does because she knows he only wants what’s best for her and her health, and so she accepts everything. She loves and cares for him, so she puts up with him even though he is hurting her. He makes his wife feel miserable, as we readers see. John makes a mistake by using science and strategy to cure his wife. He is stubborn enough to not try a different method or to even talk to his wife about how she feels or something that might help. He does help her at times, and she starts to see he just wants her health again. She loves him too, and so that’s why she stays with him and stays by his side. John is not the villain in this story, he just believes everyone can be cured the same way.

Charlotte Gilman “Yellow Wallpaper” essay

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Charlotte Gilman “Yellow Wallpaper”. (2019, May 05). Retrieved from