Pranesh an essay “Why I Wrote The

Pranesh Chitrakar

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Eng. 102

17 January. 2018                                                  


Yellow Wallpaper”- An interpretation on Gilman’s Life

            Artists and the authors draw
inspiration for their work from their own personal experiences and their
perception of the world around them. Going through the short story “The Yellow
Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, an article “Davis, Charlotte
Perkins: A Biography” by Catherine Seltzer and an essay “Why I Wrote The Yellow
Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gilman and the narrator in her short
story “The Yellow Wallpaper” are the same. There is compelling evidence seen in
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s autobiography that supports the possibility that the
story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is an interpretation of Gilman’s life. The
narrator from the story and the author Gilman find themselves in similar

            The narrator and the author both discover
themselves in the author’s personal hell, the resting cure. Gilman writes her
husband “does not believe. She is sick!” (The Yellow Wallpaper,1), and she also
claims that her doctor kept her to bed and told her to rest well because there
was nothing wrong with her (Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper). She clearly
states that her husband who was a physician and her doctor in real life did not
think her sickness was somewhat serious, so resting cure would help her feel
better. Therefore, Gilman and narrator are bound to rest well at home to cure
themselves however they both knew it would not work for them. As both Gilman
and narrator are writers, the lack of stimulation caused by the resting sure
causes both to come “near the borderline of absolute mental breakdown” (Why I
Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper). This was a real event when Gilman was told to rest
all the time which made her dull and inactive and then she was about to go
crazy however she manages to keep her writing together taking a narrow escape.

            When someone tells you to stop doing
something that you love to or have been doing, then you will automatically feel
sorry or get mad because you cannot stop doing it. There has been a same case
in Gilman’s life and the narrator from Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
Firstly, she was bound to rest and secondly, she was not allowed to work or
write as she mentions “I am absolutely not allowed to work until I am well
again” (The Yellow Wallpaper, 2). Similarly, Gilman also writes her physician
advice “never to touch pen, brush or pencil again” (Why I Wrote The Yellow
Wallpaper). In other words, the physician tells Gilman to give up her work till
she lives because he thinks that is going to help her do better since she is
not fantasizing or doing her works which disturbs her mind and affects her
health condition and in the story, John is doing the same. It is crystal clear
how she tries to show how her story and her life passes through similar events.
Gilman also mentions that she wrote the story even when she was banned to work
by her physician and the narrator does the same when she tries to write when no
one is around and pretends she is totally out of it when John and Jennie is
around. Hence, she was able to “recover from her decision to defy her doctor’s order
and return to her work as a writer” (Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Biography) as written by Seltzer. As
the narrator believed she should be writing and it will benefit her in the
story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.






Charlotte Perkins, and Bauer, Dale M. The Yellow Wall-Paper. Boston, Bedford
Books, 1998.

Catherine. “Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Biography.” Vitae Scholasticae,
vol. 28,          no. 1, 2011, p. 86.

Charlotte Perkins “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper”, October 1913.