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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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"The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman

This classic story is often anthologized in college literature textbooks.  Readers often react strongly to it--they either love it or hate it.  What's your response?
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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marciliogq
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎02-22-2008
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Re: "The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman

It was so strange I had never heard of Gilman before I had studied about gender. The most impressive part is the conclusion of the story, the simbolism of the women in the yellow wall-paper. I realized some women writers like writing about women and their stories written in diaries and the connection to the yellow color as a symbol of epyphany. It happens in this short story (diary and yellow), Virginia Woolf's "The legacy" (diary) and Katherine Mansfield's "Marriage a la mode" (yellow). The end of the story with the inversion of men and women roles, the freedom of the woman and the man feeling in prison is a fantastic simbology!
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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: "The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman


marciliogq wrote:
It was so strange I had never heard of Gilman before I had studied about gender. The most impressive part is the conclusion of the story, the simbolism of the women in the yellow wall-paper. I realized some women writers like writing about women and their stories written in diaries and the connection to the yellow color as a symbol of epyphany. It happens in this short story (diary and yellow), Virginia Woolf's "The legacy" (diary) and Katherine Mansfield's "Marriage a la mode" (yellow). The end of the story with the inversion of men and women roles, the freedom of the woman and the man feeling in prison is a fantastic simbology!

 

I agree that this is an important story about gender relationships.  I wasn't teaching back then, but I suspect it may have become a popular reading assignment in classes starting back in the 1970s (I'd have to trace back its recovery to be able to state that for sure--there is much research and scholarship on Gilman, as you likely know).  I've found reaction to the story interesting over the years, particularly among women.  Earlier when I taught it, students seemed to have more sympathy for the protagonist than later. 
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: "The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman

I think the yellow wallpaper symbolizes her husband who has sealed her to a life where she isn't supposed to think, write, or express her feelings. She's not suppose to interact with others. He has her sealed to the wall so to speak. Finally she strips the paper (husband) off and frees herself. She now can't be put back and he is the wallpaper strips laying on the floor as she steps over him and creeps around the room. Yvonne
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marciliogq
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎02-22-2008
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Re: "The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman

In my opinion the yellow paper simbolizes the prison where women live. If we remember an important moment where women wish to get free and move in the strips of paper we see their strength to get out of it. An essential moment in the story is when there's an inversion of the roles: the woman finally gets the key to freedom and gives her husband the key to prison.
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SeptemberClassic
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-28-2009
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Re: "The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman

[ Edited ]

there's so much MORE more taken than the fact of the captivity of women and lack of free will etc. that IS the main point of the story. and it's breaking to think that the woman wasn't allowed to take care of herself by taking a walk outside her own home. and because of that, she has to do something inside, and takes it out on the wallpaper

one of the side thoughts that i loved is always the path of insanity.reading the story, the woman is not insane, she is very straight in mind knowing what she needs to do to get out of her postpardum depression. and so she just stares at her room, and so her insanity progresses. At the end of the story, it's insanity, and it all makes sense. i love knowing that people have reasons for how they turn out, and just reading into them you can see why. the situation isn't as crazy as a more naive reader would think. it's more than just being an enclosed female. it's how her insanity was caused by such treatment, and how it could've all been avoided.

Message Edited by SeptemberClassic on 01-28-2009 06:36 AM
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marciliogq
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎02-22-2008
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Re: "The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman

What I think we have to be more careful about this short story is the narrative point of view. The narrator is the insane woman and practically everything is seen through her eyes. There are too many things to consider,mainly the symbology of yellow as a colour of epiphany and revelation.
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pepperanne26
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-31-2009
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Re: "The Yellow Wall-paper," Gilman

I believe the yellow wallpaper in the room represents how the woman views life. She "sees" a woman living behind the bars of the wallpaper and associates her feelings and views with the person. For instance, just as the woman "living" behind the wallpaper, the main character feels trapped and while fighting depression. In this sense, the woman feels connected to the imaginary woman living behind the wallpaper because she thinks they share a feeling of being trapped. In order to live a better life, she believes that she must free the imaginary woman. If her attempt is successful, I think she envisions a better life for herself. She may also believe, unconsciously, that freeing the trapped woman will alleviate her symptoms of depression.