Yellow Wall Paper
The allegory of the cave is also known as Myth of the cave. It is an allegory used by the Greek philosopher Plato in his literature work The republic. The author has used allegory to show “our nature in education and want of education”. In the book, Plato gives different views. For example, he imagines of people who have no freedom at all. This is because the people are chained in a cave, and they spent all their time in the cave. The people spent most of their time in the cave looking at a blank wall. In addition to watching the blank wall, the people also watch shadows that are projected in the wall by things that are passing in front of a fire. People in the cave attribute to the shadows. The author imagines the shadows being close to prisoners who are almost seeing reality (McQuillan, 2000). In the book, the author compares a philosopher with a prisoner who is freed from the cave. The philosopher later understands that the shadows in the walls are not reality. The allegory of the cave helps the reader understand the yellow wall paper.
This is because the yellow wall paper uses symbolism to convey the message to the reader. The yellow wall paper has used the same concepts used in the allegory of the cave. This essay uses the allegory of the cave to analyze the yellow wall paper (McQuillan, 2000).
The yellow wall paper is a short story written by Charlotte Perkins. The author has used the story to illustrate how people perceived women in 19th century. The author in the work illustrates how people viewed women mental and physical health. The story is written in first person view and the author has used series of journals to convey the message. The story talks about a woman who is confined in a bedroom by her husband. The husband prevents her from working so as to recover from a mental illness (Gilman, 2008).
The narrator does not agree with her husband’s decision to prevent her from working, but she hides journals so that she can read. The story shows the effects of confinement on mental health of the narrator. The house has nothing to stimulate the narrator, so she becomes obsessed by the patterns on the wall, and the color of the wall paper. The narrator spends most of her time trying to observe the wall papers, and the color. She even imagines there are women creeping behind the patterns of the wall papers. She later accepts that she is one of them. The narrator of the story tries to show how women are oppressed in the society. The author has used symbolism to convey the message and show oppression. The main theme in the story is oppression and freedom (Gilman, 2008).The allegory of the cave helps the reader understand the yellow paper. This is because it helps one analyze people who are chained, the symbolism in the work, and the meaning of the text.
There are several characters in the yellow paper that are chained. The main character who is chained in the story is the narrator (Gilman, 2008). This is evidenced by the fact that her husband has decided to lock her in a bedroom. The husband locks the narrator in the bed room so that she can recover from a temporal mental illness. He forbids the narrator from reading the journals and doing any other work. The narrator spends all her time in the bedroom as the husband monitors her not to escape. The narrator feels disturbed by her husband’s decision and she always spent her time observing the pictures, and color. The narrator is chained in the story and she has no freedom to carry out her own activities. This makes her life dificuity and she feels more oppressed, and disappointed. She thinks she would be better if left to interact with other people.
This is shown by the following quotation. The quote shows how the husband has chained the narrator (Gilman, 2008). “ So I take phosphates or phosphites--whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to "work" until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.ut what is one to do? did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust me a good deal--having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition”.The author has used the narrator to show how women are chained in the society. This is because women have no place in the society. Most people in the society undermine women. They have no freedom to express their views and carry out their own work. This is illustrated by the narrator’s comments as shown in the above quotation.
The narrator does not have freedom to be with her child and interact with other people in the society. Her husband ignores her views when she suggests that she is not comfortable when isolated (Gilman, 2008).The allegory of the cave helps the reader understand the symbolism used in the story. The author of the yellow paper has used symbolism to convey the message. He has used the wall paper and the yellow color. The author uses the yellow wall paper to show oppression. The narrator always vies the yellow paper, and she says they irritate her (Gilman, 2008). This is because of the color and the pasterns. She even imagines of women creeping under the yellow papers trying to escape the shadow. The narrator starts creeping behind the yellow paper. The yellow paper shows oppression as the narrator feels relieved when her husband opens the door. This shows how women are oppressed in the society.
They have no freedom to express their views. The narrator is isolated from her child and other members in the society. In addition, she does not receive proper diagnosis. The women creeping under the yellow paper illustrates how women are oppressed in the society, and how they are fighting hard to free themselves. This is illustrated by the following quotation (Gilman, 2008).“ I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulder. "I've got out at last," said I, "in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!" Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!”The puppet handler in the story the Yellow wall paper is John and Jane (Gilman, 2008). This is because John holds the narrator and the narrator has no freedom.
He locks her in the bedroom, and prevents her from seeing the reality. He even oppresses her and forbids her from carrying out various activities like working, writing and interacting with the child, and the society. He uses the mental illness to lock the narrator in the room so as to recover. This is shown by the following quotation. Jane also restricts the narrator from having freedom. "I've got out at last," said I, "in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!"The quotation shows that John and Jane are the puppet handlers who are preventing the narrator from achieving her dream, and interacting with her child and the society (Gilman, 2008).The narrators helps makes the reader see the light. This is because she uses the yellow papers and the color to show how women are oppressed. The narrator does not like the house, the wall paper, and the color. She feels irritated by the wall paper and the color.
The narrator shows how her husband oppresses her by separating her with the child, the society. The narrator wants to be active in the society, and become a mother, but the husband prevents her by loving her in the house. The author has used the story to show how women were viewed in the 19th century. The narrator helps us see the light by escaping from the yellow wall papers like other women. She is happy at the end of the story as she has secured her freedom. The narrator shows how women need to be given freedom to work become mothers etc. Moreover, the narrator reads the wall paper, and she finally finds an escape. This is shown by the following quotation. "I've got out at last," said I, "in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!" (Gilman, 2008).
Gilman, C, P. (2008).The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories. Filiquarian Publishing, LLC
McQuillan, M. (2000).The narrative reader. Routledge, page 37