Response, Reaction Paper Example

I feel your post does talk about several conflicts that are strong in the story, but you also don’t seem sure of them.  For instance, you claim that the narrator wants to write, but is afraid because she thinks her husband might not approve.  I don’t understand your doubt here.  In fact the narrator states that she is “forbidden” to work (Gilman 6), so that conflict is straightforward.  You do not miss the general tension between the narrator and her husband.  At the same time, it seems too literal to say that the narrator sees the wallpaper as symbolic of her husband, and that she wishes it would change because she would like him to change.  The emotional conflict is more complex than that because, as the narrator loses her sense of reality, her frustrated creativity itself is “giving life” to the paper.  Her husband is a cause but this process goes beyond him.

My real issue here, however, is that you say that the narrator is conscious of what she is doing.  I do not agree that she understands that the paper is just paper, and that she gives into her craziness.  Your points contradict each other, then. Throughout the story she keeps adding life and dimension to the wallpaper, and early on she describes it as “knowing” the evil influence it has over her (12).  The narrator is tracing how she is losing her mind but I have no sense that she is actually aware of the process, which is what you suggest.  Instead, her insanity is based on the fact that the wallpaper is not wallpaper in her mind.  It becomes the thing allowing her frustrated creative mind to run free, and it it is harmful here because she is filled with resentment and anger.

Works Cited

Gilman, C. P.  The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories.  New York: Penguin, 2006.  Print.