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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Soundtrack for "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Jordan Miller
Option 2
Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells the tale of a fascinating woman in her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.”  The story begins with an unnamed woman explaining that she and her husband, John, are staying at “a colonial mansion” for the summer (Gilman 87).  John claims they are “here solely on [her] account” (Gilman 89).  The woman explains that she believes she is sick, but that her husband claims she has “temporary nervous depression” (Gilman 87).  It is clear that the woman is not satisfied with this diagnosis when she questions, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures…that there is really nothing the matter…what can one do?” (Gilman 87).  She feels her husband does not believe her, and does not even try to convince him otherwise.  This reminds me of the song “You Got Me All Wrong” by Dios Malos.  I picture the woman sitting on her bed as her husband walks out the door for work, alone and desolate, while this song plays in the background.  The singer is repetitive with the verse, “you got me all wrong.”  This song represents how the woman feels misunderstood by her husband. 
When the woman realizes that her husband will not believe her, she resorts to writing so she can sort her thoughts.  This reminds me of song “So Much to Say” by Dave Matthews Band because of the lyrics: “I say my hell is the closet I’m stuck inside…Keep it locked up inside, don’t talk about it…So much to say, so much to say.”  She keeps her writing hidden from John, and his sister, Jennie; these are the only two people she sees day-by-day.  Otherwise, she is isolated in her room.  The song “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey is applicable here, because it describes how the woman feels—she has “summertime sadness” and no one to listen or help with her strife.
Through the story, the woman slowly starts to become more psychotic.  She becomes fixated on the yellow wallpaper lining her room, and notices a “woman stooping down and creeping behind the pattern” (Gilman 94).  The song “Head Full of Doubt/Heart Full of Pain” by The Avett Brothers could play in this scene.  They sing: “There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light. In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right. And it comes in black and it comes in white, and I’m frightened by those who don’t see it.” John and Jennie tell her what to do and she obeys and rests.  While the woman lays in her bed at night, she watches the woman in paper, especially “by moonlight” (Gilman 96).  She never tells John about the woman she sees because she is afraid he will not see it or believe her.  Day after day, the woman lies in bed and crawls at night, trying to make a plan for the woman to escape from behind the bars.

Finally, at the end of the story, I picture the song “Supergirl” by Krystal Harris playing in the background.  I imagine the woman’s feelings resonate with the lyrics: “I’m supergirl and I’m here to save the world.” The woman’s goal was to free the woman behind the bars, and she finally succeeds.  She triumphantly says, “I’ve got out at last…in spite of you…And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t pull me back!” (Gilman 102).  The woman is proud of her accomplishment—finally she, and the woman behind the paper, are free.
Gilman, Charlotte P. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” American Gothic Tales. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996. 87-102. Print.

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