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Thesis Statement For The Yellow Wallpaper

Thesis Statement for The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper, first published in 1982, is a short story written by the American author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, based on her own experiences. Because the plot and development of the story center on the perception of women's health in a 19th-century setting, it has plenty of aspects that you can uphold in your thesis statement for The Yellow Wallpaper, especially under a feminist lens.


The story is told in the form of a series of journal entries from the point of view of the protagonist. She is an unnamed woman undergoing treatment for mental health issues, in a mansion rented by her husband. The plot follows the gradual and ultimately complete deterioration of her mind.


That Gilman chose journal entries as the method of delivering the story is significant. In the story, the protagonist is barred from engaging in any intellectual activity during her recovery. As a result, she keeps the journal a secret from her husband and her sister, the housekeeper. This sheds light on the inefficiency of the treatment methods. The protagonist's need to express herself is essential to her well-being, but is in fact suppressed.

Furthermore, the first-person view is instrumental in achieving the writer's desired effect. This we can assume to be a closer personal association between the reader and the narrator. The reader is carried into the tumult of the narrator's mental deterioration and also compelled to empathize with her situation.

Main Themes

As mentioned before, there are many viewpoints to consider this story from. Of these, the principal theme that stands out is the notion of sanity. A writing style that helps to illustrate, rather than explicitly state, the protagonist's descent into madness is also an important point of analysis. What may be particularly useful to you when deciding your thesis statement for The Yellow Wallpaper is an examination of exactly what it is that catalyzes this madness—as a hint, consider that the protagonist is actually undergoing mental-health treatment.

Another important theme is that of freedom (or lack thereof), and its implications in the context of gender and gender roles. The narrator is practically trapped inside the mansion her husband has rented. That the mansion was rented for the express purpose of healing her makes an implicit remark on the positions of power present within marriage, playing on the decision-making role given to the husband. Additionally, the general ideals of freedom within the time setting are also a good place to start for your thesis statement. Women, at the time, were more closely associated with the home, while men were associated with what was perceived to be "productive" work that would result in monetary gains.

These are some of the main points of discussion that you may consider when formulating your thesis statement for The Yellow Wallpaper. We hope this post was helpful! At Prescott Papers, we offer detailed, in-depth custom-to-order academic papers on more stories like this, and several other types of topics.

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