Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a story about a woman who fell to the depths of insanity; shredding away any dignity left in her life like the wallpaper she shred surrounding her in the room she passed in. As she wrote her progressions lying in the yellow tainted room for the three months that she stayed, the wallpaper took on its own character, representing the growing level of just how insane the woman had truly become. The optical illusions of the wall that haunted her created a landscape for her inhibitions to roam and set free. The sick woman was in obvious need of help, but her ignorant, denial stricken husband only drew her deeper into hopelessness, drawing her to her death.
When the disturbed woman first settled into the ghastly kept old room, she was not comfortable at all. She often expressed her desire to live downstairs in one of the nicer bedrooms, but her husband, John, insisted upon residing in the room. He assured her she would never be completely satisfied wherever they stayed because of her own nervousness of the new settings they resided in. If he changed the wallpaper, next "it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then the gate at the head of the stairs, and so on." (186) The one thing she detested the most about the room was the yellow corruptly sculpted wallpaper, that she described as looking "as if a boys" school had used it," (185) showing the wear and tear of such an adolescent's touch. Eventually she starts to attentively examine the tired design of the wall, and its shapes, turns and tears, finding fascination in such a peculiar thing. She documents these changes in her journal that she hides from everyone, for they would hate to know she writes such questionable things, when they believe the room is actually helping her. As long as John can convince her and himself to believe she is okay, and the best is being done for her, he can rest easy, showing how selfish he really is.