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Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper

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Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper            


The Room itself represents the author’s unconscious protective cell that has encased her mind, represented by the woman, for a very long time. This cell is slowly deteriorating and losing control of her thoughts. I believe that this room is set up as a self-defense mechanism when the author herself is put into the asylum. She sets this false wall up to protect her from actually becoming insane and the longer she is in there the more the wall paper begins to deteriorate. This finally leads to her defense weakening until she is left with just madness and insanity. All of the characters throughout the story represent real life people with altered roles in her mind. While she is in the mental institute she blends reality with her subconscious, forming this story from events that are happening all around here in the real world. 

            As the reader is introduced to the woman we find her talking about very strange and unusual happenings occurring around her. She evens states that she has a condition that signifies insanity, but the doctor would never tell her straight to her face that she was insane. She says, “I think it is due to this nervous condition”(453). This shows that she knows there is something wrong with her. This nervous condition she refers to can only mean that she is having mental problems and is possibly going insane.  We can infer this because during this time period, the doctors did not state that someone was insane because they had no medical proof. Instead they would just tell the patients that they have a nervous condition, and send them away. She says, “I always fancy I see people walking in the numerous paths and arbors, but...


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...f the bad that is going on in her real life, so she would have a happy place to live. With the collapse of her happy place her defense was gone and she had no protection from her insanity anymore. This caused all of her blocked out thoughts to swarm her mind and turn her completely insane. When the doctor found her, he tried to go in and help her. When the doctor finally got in he fainted because he had made so many positive changes with her and was utterly distressed when he found out that it was all for naught. This woman had made a safety net within her mind so that she would not have to deal with the reality of being in an insane asylum, but in the end everything failed and it seems that what she had been protecting herself from finally conquered her. She was then forced to succumb to her breakdown and realize that she was in the insane asylum for the long run.


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