Exploring the Themes of Identity Loss and Oppression

Analysis of the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Felishia La-Shae
3 min readApr 9, 2023
Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator faces the impending doom of her imprisonment within her own life and mind. The setting of this story occurs in the late 1800s during a time in which women were seen as feeble, weak, and incapable of using their own intellect to be creative. The narrator is struggling with the role she plays within her family as a mother and wife. As the story progresses, the reader witnesses the slow downfall of the narrator’s mind as she starts to see a woman trapped behind the patterned yellow wallpaper in her room the imprisonment of herself within her own life. The narrator uses her first-person point of view to bring to life the themes of identity loss and oppression that eventually lead to her final downfall at the end of the story.

The narrator's use of her shared thoughts throughout the story allows the reader to understand her imprisonment and loss of identity. Throughout the story, you are given examples of the narrator’s husband and his comments made towards her writing and creative thoughts. Her husband expects her to “rest” by removing all intelligence and emotional stimulation. This can be seen best through the quote, “He says that with…

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Felishia La-Shae

Writer, Dreamer, Creator. Navigating life one sentence at a time.