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The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Analysis: Writing Style

Slow Descent Into Madness

Over the course of the story, we witness the narrator gradually losing her mind. In the beginning, she can offer calm and logical descriptions of her surroundings. Soon, however, she attempts to have a rational conversation with her husband but ends up crying and pleading. By the end of the story, she is convinced that the wallpaper is moving, as a woman trapped inside attempts to break free. As the story unfolds, however, the prose remains very crisp and factual. We can ascertain the narrator’s listlessness as she lies in bed and follows the pattern of the wallpaper. As her delusions increase and she becomes more convinced that a woman is trapped within the paper, the prose becomes more urgent and more secretive.

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