Saturday, September 13, 2008

One crazy broad

I wonder...would the narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" have gotten better if she didn't own so fanciful an imagination? We are supposed to believe that she, along with her creator Ms. Gilman, were driven to (near) insanity because of, rather than in spite of, the prescribed treatment of the day to lock the broads up. However, these two women were writers, creators of whole lives and worlds and stories within their minds that they commit to paper. Without paper, without an outlet for their creativity, their minds strain to break beyond the stifling constraints of the physical walls that hold them.

But what if the narrator was a mere ordinary broad like her sister-in-law? One who was content with housekeeping, without a mind like the narrator's? Of course, there is the question of whether a person like John's sister could ever fall into a depression or whatever it was that afflicted the narrator, but if she did, and was confined as a result, would her still, tepid mind have adjusted perfectly to the stillness of confinement? Being in a similar physical environment to the one in her mind would perhaps have calmed her ailment. Perhaps the narrator and Ms. Gilman were driven mad by their own creative minds, rather than their confinements.

1 comment:

Dominique Thomas said...

I never really thought about it the way that Barry did but it really makes sense. The narrator was very creative and this in turn made her think of very unique things such as women boarded up in walls. Her downfall is her creativity and her confinement.