The Yellow Wall-Paper

The Yellow-Wallpaper to me is such an interesting text, as the ending is so satisfying but at the same time so vague and left so much to audience interpretation. From the face value of what we can see from the ending, Jane is driven into madness due to the influence of the wallpaper and her projection of her state of mental entrapment onto the wallpaper; the manifestation of the women behind bars on the wallpaper heavily reflects unstable mental state of Jane and also her feeling of being entrapped by the male dominant society even in the domestic space that she should feel safe and comfort in. Also, I believe that another possible interpretation towards the ending would be Jane being representational spark during the beginning of a change in the androcentric culture. She is portrayed as crazy or insane through her sickness of depression, thus making her perspective and points seem invalid or heretical. Since Jane sees things differently than other’s, specifically the wallpaper, she holds a perspective that is against what was generally accepted by society at the time. Although she may be crazy, she still shows purpose in her action. Throughout the short story, Jane attempts to break free from the constraint of the room and the yellow wallpaper and at last, she is able to obtain the freedom that she tried so hard to attain. The end depicts Jane physically above John, which is not only representational of the shift in power but also we get the feminine perspective above of the male perspective of the androcentric culture.

In other texts that we have read such as the life of Galileo, knowledge and truths are often hard to truly identify. Galileo’s views and knowledge were seen as heretical because it was not beneficial for those in power. Similarly, Jane’s perspective is often overlooked and dismissed by John simply because he has physical and mental ‘authority’ over her in society.

One comment

  1. I really like your interpretation here, that Jane’s illness is viewed as such because she doesn’t live up to the accepted views of how women should be. That certainly makes sense. There is also another layer in that when one doesn’t do that then societal pressure may actually lead to a mental breakdown; she doesn’t have any way to *be* different in that situation. Her only option is to “escape” by literally escaping reality. Which is incredibly sad.

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