The Yellow Wallpaper – Assignment Example

The paper "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a perfect example of a media assignment. The yellow wallpaper is described as a “repellent, almost revolting … unclean yellow.” It symbolizes the thin veil of polite society behind which the narrator’s true identity must hide. She doesn’t have the option of not constraining herself, which is shown in the way that the “paper stained everything it touched, that she [Jenny] had found yellow smooches on all my clothes and John’s, and she wished we would be more careful.” The pattern in the paper becomes the bars to her prison while the women she sees inside it are her real thoughts and ambitions that cannot get free. “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind. And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern – it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads.” The peeling of the wallpaper becomes her way of freeing her unwanted thoughts leaving her with nothing but an insane creeping around the perimeter of the room indicating the emptiness and personal destructiveness of this kind of constraint. It becomes clear in the action of the story that John’s intentions are for his wife’s welfare even though his decisions are all wrong. At no point does he seem fully aware that his wife has greater emotional needs than women are credited with. The woman tells us, “He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction … He said we came here solely on my account, that I was to have perfect rest and all the air I could get.” She indicates that it isn’t like him to coddle unnecessarily, but he does not seem to know how to really help. “Dear John! He loves me very dearly, and hates to have me sick. … And dear John gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed, and sat by me and read till it tired my head.” Although she tries to tell him what she thinks, he feels an uneducated woman could not possibly have a better idea than he, an educated doctor. For every suggestion she has to get out of the house and active again, John finds a reason for them to stay longer, to remain in the room with the yellow wallpaper and to keep her confined. With him as both doctor and husband, there is no one to argue for her.