The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics & Samples

At some point in your studying, you might be asked to produce “The Yellow Wallpaper” analysis essay. Well, if you’re reading this, you have already received this task! Let’s start by choosing a suitable topic to write about.

This article by experts contains “The Yellow Wallpaper” essay topics, “The Yellow Wallpaper” essay prompts, and writing samples. Go on reading if you want to learn more!

🌟 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics: How to Choose

First of all, you need to think about the topic of your paper. One way to choose a writing idea is to consider the main facts about “The Yellow Wallpaper”:

  • The story was written at the end of the 19th century about mental disorder treatment of that time.
  • It is considered one of the strongest and most prominent pieces of feminist literature.

These facts might be your first clue for choosing an essay topic. Try to look at the issues of mental health and gender stereotypes from your perspective.  

In case you don’t particularly fancy the theme of feminism in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, there are many other options to choose from. Here are two tips that will help you pick an essay topic:

  • Try highlighting the moments that stand out for you in the story. Then, expand on them in your paper.
  • Write down any questions you might have during the reading to use them later.

However, if you don’t want to spend too much time on it, jump straight away to our list of topics for “The Yellow Wallpaper” essays.

💡 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Topics

  1. The meaning of the story’s title.
  2. “The Yellow Wallpaper”as a horror story.
  3. Representation of madness in the story.
  4. The significance of the unnamed narrator.
  5. Color symbolism in Gilman’s story.
  6. Explain why the story’s ending is optimistic.
  7. Study the use of Gothic elements in the narrative.
  8. Why ”The Yellow Wallpaper” is still relevant today.
  9. The meaning of “creeping” in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  10. Comparison of A Rose for Emily and “The Yellow Wallpaper”. 
  1. John as Dr. Mitchel’s double in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  2. The symbolism of a fixed bed in Gilman’s story.
  3. Marriage in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and The Story of an Hour.
  4. Infantilization of the story’s protagonist by her husband.
  5. Describe the role of nature in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”. 
  6. How a 19th-century woman’s yearnings are presented by Gilman.
  7. Examine the trope of the haunted house in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  8. Writing as a process of self-assertion in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  9. How Gilman’s story influenced mental health treatment of women.
  10. The perils of marriage and motherhood in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.

📝 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Prompts

  1. Study the issue of the gender roles in the story and compare it to modern norms. “The Yellow Wallpaper” highlights the problem of the suppression of women. Your essay on this topic may include some comments on family life as well. Since this topic is quite popular, we also suggest presenting your unique interpretation of this question.
  2. The Yellow Wallpaper’s conclusion: different versions. How do you understand the ending of the story? Why, in your opinion, did the author cut it at that specific moment? Brainstorm these questions and try to figure out what would be the best interpretation. Don’t forget to support your opinion with fair arguments.
  3. What is the relationship between the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and her diary? The main character seems to get some relief from journaling her thoughts and daily life events. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help prevent the total crash of her identity at the end of the story. You can write “The Yellow Wallpaper” character analysis essay about it.
  4. Draw a parallel between the description of the wallpaper and the mental health of the narrator. We can notice the change in the writing as the mental illness of the narrator progresses. Look into one particular aspect there: the description of the wallpaper. How does the pattern change in foreshadowing future breakdown?
  5. Compare “The Yellow Wallpaper” to another feminist piece of writing of the same time frame Here it would be perfect if you found some unique elements that Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses in her story. Don’t forget that the focus of this essay should be on the theme of feminism. For better outcomes, add a quotation as a hook at the beginning of your essay.
  1. The Yellow Wallpaper” and marriage: is it the fault of the husband? Most people prefer to blame the husband in this story. Indeed, in the 19th century, women didn’t have much choice. However, we can see that the narrator has the power to resist the control of her husband. She doesn’t understand that she can do it.
  2. The role of personification as a tool used by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It’s a great topic for a literary analysis essay on “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Go through the story’s plot again and find out why personification is used at some moments. How does it affect the writing’s mood, and doesn’t Gilman use some other devices there?
  3. Stigmatizing postpartum depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. This issue is related to feminism. Most women’s psychological problems are neglected as only being “in the head.” Miserable were those suffering postpartum depression, as one can see from the treatment plan chosen by John in the story.
  4. Explore different literary devices that are used to highlight the issue of depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Analyze what the narrator writes about her state and find the literary devices that Gilman uses to relate to it. For instance, repetition points out the confusion on the one hand and hopelessness on the other.
  5. Can we trust the narrator? The point of view in “The Yellow Wallpaper” plays an important role. The reader can only perceive the events through the narrator’s eyes. However, it means that some things can be not that obvious. Try to analyze the hints and symbolism to find out the missing part of the story.

❓ Top 12 The Yellow Wallpaper Essay Questions

  1. What is the role of creativity in the protagonist’s journey?
  2. What imagery helps to convey the main character’s isolation?
  3. Why does the woman in the wallpaper go in circles?
  4. How does the protagonist’s mental state change throughout the story?
  5. How does the main character’s confinement contribute to her mental decline?
  6. In what ways does Jennie represent a patriarchal woman in ”The Yellow Wallpaper”?
  7. Why does the main character hide her diary from others?
  8. How does “The Yellow Wallpaper” portray the 19th century’s cult of true womanhood?
  9. Why is S. Weir Mitchel’s real name mentioned in the story?
  10. How does the story challenge traditional notions of femininity and domesticity?
  11. How does the setting of the nursery convey the protagonist’s sense of loss and longing?
  12. How does the protagonist’s journey in ”The Yellow Wallpaper” reflect the broader feminist movement of the time?

🔍 Top 15 The Yellow Wallpaper Research Paper Topics

  1. Analyze the story through the prism of male gaze.
  2. The juxtaposition of logical men vs. irrational women in the story.
  3. “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Freud’s misconceptions about hysteria.
  4. How Gilman’s story relates to Cixous’ ideas about écriture feminine.
  5. Foucault’s Panopticon Effect as portrayed in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  6. Analysis of Gilman’s story through the lens of Simone de Beauvoir.
  7. “The Yellow Wallpaper”: comparison to The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.
  8. The wallpaper pattern as the bars of a prison constructed by society.
  9. Analyze the binary opposition presented in the story through the prism of Jacques Lacan’s ideas of the Imaginary and the Symbolic orders.
  10. Interpret the rhizomatic identity of the main character in “The Yellow Wallpaper” via Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of schizoanalysis.
  11. How does madness liberate the main character from patriarchal concepts of femininity?
  12. Daylight universe of masculinity vs. the nighttime world of imagination in “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  13. How “The Yellow Wallpaper” had predicted the problem of “the trapped housewife” in America.
  14. Internalized and shared patriarchal values in women characters from “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  15. How the wallpaper in the story represents the main character’s subconscious.

🎓 The Yellow Wallpaper Thesis Ideas

  1. Spiritual liberation through the awakening of female consciousness in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  2. Dystopian elements in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  3. “The Yellow Wallpaper” through the lens of horror: How terror and subversion are used in the narration.
  4. The color yellow in relation to psychology through the lens of Gilman’s story.
  5. Comparative study of female agency in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Plath’s “The Bell Jar.”
  6. Psychoanalytic perspectives on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
  7. How Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” reflects the theme of a female body.
  8. “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a biography: The parallels between the protagonist’s experiences and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s struggles with mental health.
  9. The rebellion against social norms in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story.
  10. The analysis of John’s character and his role as husband in “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  11. Unreliable narration in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and its effect on the reader’s perception.
  12. How Gilman uses language, storytelling, and images to portray madness.
  13. The suppression of creativity and artistic expression in the face of social expectations in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
  14. Myths and archetypes: Gilman’s story through the lens of Carl Jung’s theory.
  15. The ending of Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a reflection on late 19th-century women’s mental health treatment and its implications on gendered dynamics.

✒️ The Yellow Wallpaper: Essay Samples

Below you’ll find a collection of The Yellow Wallpaper essay examples. Hope you’ll find them useful!

  1. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Key Themes
  2. Alger’s “Ragged Dick” and Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper”
  3. “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Laugh of the Medusa”
  4. Social Values and Norms in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  5. American Women in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  6. Symbolism in “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  7. The Story of an Hour and The Yellow Wallpaper: Comparison
  8. Mental Illness in The Yellow Wallpaper
  9. The Yellow Wallpaper and Everyday Use Literature: Comparison
  10. Women Characters in Chopin’s, Gilman’s, Faulkner’s Stories
  11. Isolation, Patriarchy, Materialism, and Mental Illness in “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  12. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Review
  13. Plots of Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  14. Feminist “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  15. Literary Elements in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  16. The Description of Wallpaper in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman
  17. Color in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  18. “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Perkins
  19. Gender in The Great Gatsby & The Yellow Wallpaper
  20. Uncovering the Wallpaper in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
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