Literary Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman (Other (Not Listed) Sample)
Craft a literary analysis of the yellow wallpaper. In a logically organized.
The thesis for this essay is:
While on the surface, the story appears to be about a women suffering from mental health challenges and her road to recovery, the story actually explores themes of oppression and gender inequality.
Structure of the essay:
I’d like to explore the significance of this time period and the role ‘domestic ideology’ played. More importantly I’d like to explore the rest cure’s impact to the overall mental health and well-being of women.
To support this argument you'll need to explore a number of related themes both in the text as well as other related historical scholarly works. Some of these themes are:
1. Gender roles/inequality and society’s expectations of women - the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper is often portrayed as weak and submissive and as needing permission from her husband to perform even basic tasks. John, her husband seen as patriarch and dominant force…the decision maker. Lastly, share how societal norms during that time period played into those gender norms.
2. Explore the subordination of women in marriage and how this might have played to a loss of identity and self-worth in women
3. Isolation, and the role that isolation plays in both the story and in keeping women subordinate. In the story, the location of the summer home, barred windows, location of the room in the home (in the attic) and being taken away from her child might further support the decline of a women’s mental health condition
4. Oppression and Importance of self-expression – in the story, journaling became a critical outlet that ultimately appeared to “free” the virtually nameless narrator
You should, ideally, also engage with some kind of historical or scientific context. Think of this essay as a research paper with a literary analysis focus. You should strive to incorporate your knowledge (or recently-researched knowledge) of a text’s/ author’s engagement with one of the many sciences and/or historical contexts we discussed over the course of the semester. This contextual engagement should connect to the close reading of your chosen text. In this way, your essay should consist of two “parts” in conversation with each other:
Part 1 : establish a scientific and/or historical context—tell the reader about the text and the context with which it engages. This will likely require you to give some historical background on the science and establish why the author would be interested in this context (see “Tips for Getting Started” below).
Part 2 : establish a clear analytical focus within the text—what is the author doing with the text that ties back to this scientific or historical context? Use your terminology knowledge here. For example, is the author’s use of metaphor particularly relevant to this historical or scientific context?
• 9 pages (text onto 9 th page, not 8 ¾ pages)
• 3 scholarly sources
o A max of 2 sources may be from the approved scholarly source list on Blackboard
o This means that you need to find at least 1 source through your own research
• Strict adherence to MLA format throughout (page layout, parenthetical citations, works cited, etc. See Blackboard for MLA style guide).
• Thorough engagement with the text
• A clear thesis
• Thorough discussion of thesis in a well-organized essay
• Demonstration of close-reading skills (which means you'll need quotes and to dissect the quotes)
• Demonstration of terminology knowledge
Sample Organizational Outline: Pages may vary, but the emphasis should be on the close reading—do not turn in 4 pages of background and only spend 3 pages on the text. If you do this, it will severely impact your “ideas and content” grade . I. Introduction (about 1 page) a. Briefly introduce text and context b. A nice, clear thesis J II. Context/framework (about 2-3 pages) a. Relevant scientific/historical background b. Why would the author be interested in this? How does this fit in with your thesis? III. Close reading of text (about 6 pages) a. Content in this section will vary, but it should directly correlate to your thesis and compliment your framework (see sample essay)
Literary Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman
Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is a fascinating story that entails a sad woman who has been secluded. The story starts with a mystery because the Gilman does not let the reader know the name of the secluded woman, but lets her give her story through her unending consciousness. Furthermore, the mysterious nature of the story is enhanced further because it seems like the house where the secluded woman is locked and resembles a prison cell because it has barred windows, a bed that is nailed on the floor, as well as rings on the walls. The passion of the locked up woman is to write and it is through this that the reader is able to learn that she is under the care of her husband as a patient because she is considered abnormal. Her husband is reflected as the physician who administers “the rest cure” to her as a form of treatment against what she narrates as a nervous depression condition. In the beginning parts of the story, the woman shares with the reader information that she is defensive of the way her husband and others around her perceive and treat her emotional condition. Such hints to the reader that the significance of the narration is incredible as it explores the underlying issues of the place of women, as well as feminism in the 19th century. While on the surface, the story appears to be about a woman suffering from mental health challenges and her road to recovery, the story actually explores themes of oppression and gender inequality.
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