The Yellow Wallpaper: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her Unnamed Narrator  -  The issue of madness, whether gothic or mundane, has been used by writers such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman as a vehicle for emancipatory writing. Gilman uses this perspective to challenge the prevailing patriarchal reality of her time that leaves her, and her narrator, virtually powerless. By doing so she not only includes herself within a historically important canon but also, paradoxically, creates for herself, and her character, a means of escape. Just as concrete objects can be used as powerful emblems of abstraction, the perception and perspective of madness has the ability of conveying a whole ‘other’ reality, a ‘reality’ that is very useful in promoting a distinctly female perspective. In The Yellow Wallpaper, madness is presented as a disturbing, but ultimately effective alternative to a scientific and male dominated actuality. It is madness, in the end, which liberates creator and created from confines both real and imagined. The autonomy that is gained in the story is grotesque yet understandable, a disconcerting combination but one which creates a cycle of empowerment, challenging any conventional conclusion, and which historically persists.
 

The Yellow Wallpaper: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her Unnamed Narrator. 

Pyrography & acrylic with lacquer finish.

48" x 48" 

2006