A young, upper-middle-class woman, newly married and a mother, who is
undergoing care for depression. The narrator—whose name may or may not be
Jane—is highly imaginative and a natural storyteller, though her doctors believe
she has a “slight hysterical tendency.” The story is told in the form of her
secret diary, in which she records her thoughts as her obsession with the
in-depth analysis of The Narrator.
The narrator’s husband and her physician. John restricts her behavior
as part of her treatment. Unlike his imaginative wife, John is extremely
practical, preferring facts and figures to “fancy,” at which he “scoffs openly.”
He seems to love his wife, but he does not understand the negative effect his
treatment has on her.
in-depth analysis of John.
John’s sister. Jennie acts as housekeeper for the couple. Her
presence and her contentment with a domestic role intensify the narrator’s
feelings of guilt over her own inability to act as a traditional wife and
mother. Jennie seems, at times, to suspect that the narrator is more troubled
than she lets on.