Yellow Wallpaper There are many symptoms that arise when one is diagnosed with postpartum depression. Among the many is “obsessive-compulsive features, including intrusive, repetitive thoughts and anxiety. You see this all throughout “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and it begins when the narrator first describes the strange patterns in the incredibly symbolic wallpaper in the room that was once a children’s nursery: “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.
The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow – turning sunlight. ” When analyzing the first section of the passage, on realizes that she is referring to the invisible mask she has put on. She tries to hide that she is still deeply troubled by pretending to be happy and in control, however exhausting it may be. And yet, this “disease,” if you will, irritates her to no end, as does the wallpaper. She is angry with her husband in that he believes this disease isn’t as serious as it truly is.
Anger towards one’s partner or other family members is also a symptom of postpartum depression. Then… she mentions something rather… striking. She says, “When you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide – plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions. ” Even after a short time of enduring severe depression, one can feel overwhelmed with sadness and grief, and they begin having reoccurring thoughts of suicide.
She is afraid she is going to become insane, and take the “plunge…” perhaps off a bridge? Above all, she is afraid she is going to harm her newborn child. If, by her own hands, her baby is harmed, she will be destroyed from the inside- out because a new child is supposed to be something happy… a joyous occasion, but her depression is preventing just that. She hates feeling this way. She believes it to be “revolting,” like the awful yellow of the wallpaper.
But, if one looks closely, one will see that there is a bit of light in her logic. She says it’s “strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. ” Through time, all be it slow, the disease will begin to fade away and inevitably disappear altogether. Through pain, and misfortune… through sadness and irritation… there is always hope. The smallest light in the darkest cave, there is hope. And she wishes to hold onto it as long as she can… until the last bit of strength she has left dissipates completely… … There is hope.