“The Yellow Wallpaper” was written in the late 19th century and is based on 12 diary entries of the protagonist. It describes a country holiday prescribed by her doctor, who is also the protagonist’s husband. She is supposed to rest, is restricted to simple chores, and is not allowed to engage in any form of physical or intellectual activity. Those restrictions are part of her getting well again plan. Nevertheless, the opposite is to play out. The protagonist’s health deteriorates. She starts seeing a woman in the pattern of the yellow wallpaper while at the same time missing being a woman, to be human. Complaining to her husband about how she feels did not help. He does not take her seriously and keeps treating her like a child. Eventually, the protagonist has a nervous breakdown and becomes the woman in the yellow wallpaper.
Even though much has changed for women since the book was first published in 1892, a part still applies to today’s society—for example, identity and self-expression. Society still holds on to outdated patterns of what is expected from women. Motherhood vs. career is one example. Female leadership would be another. Women from today still have to fight against those stereotypes; societies like to subjugate them too.
An excellent way to find a different angle on the topic of “The Yellow Wallpaper” would be to break the essay down into its various problem specifications and understand them well. The essay is only the background of the argument you will write about. Depending on the problem definition, choose one topic. Motherhood vs. career is a contemporary, almost timeless theme that touches on most women, regardless of age or race.
The topic of female “hysteria” has been well documented in art throughout the last 200 years. A different angle could be female mental health over the centuries. What is society’s outlook on postnatal depression? What has changed, if anything, since Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Does society give women the intellectual and emotional outlet they desire for their well-being?
If you don’t know how to start your essay or what structure to choose, examples on this page can help you to find your own path and complete your assignment like a pro!