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Wallpaper Yellow

Tim Johnston Johnston 1 ENC 1102 Ms. Allman 5 Oct 98 The Repressive Elements of The Yellow Wallpaper Often times what is meant to help can hinder. Positive intentions do not always bring about desirable effects. The "Yellow Wallpaper" is an example of such an occurrence. In this short story the narrator is detained in a lonesome, drab room in an attempt to free herself of a nervous disorder. During the era in which this narrative was written such practices were considered beneficial. The narrators husband, a physician adheres to this belief and forces his wife into a treatment of solitude. Rather than heal the narrator of her psychological disorder, the treatment only contributes to its effects, driving her into a severe depression. Under the orders of her husband, the narrator was moved to a house far from society in the country, wherein she is locked into an upstairs room. This environment serves not as an inspiration for mental health but as an element of repression. The locked door and barred windows serves to physically restrain her. "The windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls."(p218). Being exposed to the room's yellow wallpaper is dreadful and fosters only negative creativity. "The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.(p224). All through the story the yellow paper acts as an antagonist causing her to become very annoyed and disturbed. There is nothing to do in the secluded room but stare at the wallpaper. The narrator tells of the haphazard pattern having no organization or symmetrical plot. Her constant examination and reflection of the wallpaper causes her much travail. "I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless Johnston 2 pattern to some sort of a conclusion." (p221). The treatments call for isolation was a repressive factor .The narrator did not believe isolation would cure her disorder. S...

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