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"The Yellow Wallpaper" Lecture

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Collin Hill

Lecture 2- “THE YELLOW WALLPAPER” By Charlotte Perkins Gilman (written in 1892) Gilman’s Early Modernism (finding a new way of expression/writing) (one of the first writers marking the change) Reworking gothic conventions (displays all the characteristics: a form of literature that was very popular from the 17 thcentury, and form of escape from harsh life. Gilman takes these conventions but changes them/expands them to do something different) Setting: large ancestral houses with secrets (very beginning of the story she identifies the ancestral house/ colonial mansion/haunted house/etc- playful suggests that the setting can be haunted/dark secrets- uses gothic but plays around and questions if the house is actually haunted) Characterization: presence of insane (or half-insane) characters (a woman in the story is locked up in a large ancestral house because she is deemed mentally unstable BUT it is not usually a young wife/mother that is insane) Plot: focus on death, murder, horror, intrigue (compares the situation of the narrator‟s experience- she is locked up in the house, can‟t leave, can‟t have a life) (many women were locked up in the house during this time, and couldn‟t participate in the world- bringing forth a light about the way women were being treated during this time) Transgression of social norms and boundaries (very repressed time, which is why literature was able to bring forth ideas that were not acceptable in society. Through the narrator who is not fulfilling the roles of the wife and mother which: she was behaving in a way that was inappropriate during this socthl time) Presence of the „monstrous‟ (19 century male role, her husband, physician and social norms in that time of patriarchy were the monster in her life) Reworking Victorian conventions (1837-1901) (unchallenged patriarchy society, idea that the strict social codes and morals that do not allow her to do what she wants to do/or write. She is confined by her husband and brother, this dominance is not challenged) the angel in t
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