Yellow Wallpaper The Nameless Narrator

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Essay Database > Literature > English
Erin Kate Ryan 7 November 2000 Major Women Authors Short Paper The Unnamed Woman Name, Identity and Self in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents in the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” a narrator of dubious identity. If a reader infers that the reference at the end of the story to “Jane” is indeed self-reflexive, a dichotomy between the Jane of which she speaks and the character who creeps about the room …

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…woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” meets the challenge of her anonymity: she progresses from a society woman without proper identity to an inverted version of a Victorian lady, one so egregious as not to be acknowledged by appellation. Through the loss of her name, the dismissal of her former affectations and the emergence of her uncultured (yet not inhuman) alter ego, Mrs. John becomes the unnamed victim of the nameless consequences of an unidentified disorder.