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The Effects of Narrator's Confinement in The Yellow Wallpaper

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In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins illustrates how confinement affects ones mental health by preventing a person from doing daily activities and the way people are treated poorly. The narrator has an illness which is the focus of the story. This is the main cause of her confinement it is also the reason people think she is crazy, thus showing the reader why it is easy for others to place someone who is different from them in isolation.

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Preventing someone from doing daily activities can disconnect them from reality making them feel extremely isolated. The narrator has constant restrictions set on her from her husband, brother and sister in law about what she is and isn’t allowed to do during the day. One of these is John “hates to have her write a word”. She is basically restricted from being able to have the freedom to express herself. He thinks it gives her too much freedom and it would allow her to think about her situation even more which is not good for her according to john. John doesn’t want her to exert too much energy or ever be out of his controlling protection. this is why the narrator is so secretive about all she does. The narrator likes to write secretly because she is “absolutely forbidden to ‘work’ until she’s well again”. Her work was her way of connecting with others so that she wasn’t as alone. She doesn’t choose her isolation – she was forced into it. This woman was innocent she’s a recent mother who is simply going through a hard time. Her and her husband have so many opposing opinions it makes sense for him to so easily put her in isolation.

The narrator was always treated with so much caution because everyone was afraid that she wasn’t normal. Her husband never wanted to be around her because he couldn’t explain what was happening to her. He consistently treated her like a child who didn’t understand anything because he believed himself to be smarter. He calls her “little girl” and codels her through every situation and doesn’t believe her ever. The woman was just trying to explain her situation to a hopefully sympathetic husband but instead was met with patronization. She wanted to tell him she wasn’t getting any better like he claimed she was but when she does he says “bless her heart” without truly listening to her and simply blowing her off. Her husband doesn’t treat her like an intelligent person. He is condescending and is very standoffish towards her. He has a consistent belief that she is different from what society thinks is normal. He diagnoses her with temporary issues that can’t be fixed, but that makes her more devastated and lonely realizing she hasn’t been getting better.

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In conclusion, the narrator’s confinement turned her into an isolated person who has no freedom to do what she wants or be a normal part of society. When a person is isolated like her through not being allowed to participate in daily activities and treating a person poorly shows how if you were to treat someone with kindness and compassion it can change their perspectives. 

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The Effects Of Narrator’s Confinement In The Yellow Wallpaper. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
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