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The Yellow Wallpaper

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Length: 339 words (1 double-spaced pages)
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In a female oppressive story about a woman driven from postpartum depression to insanity, Charlotte Gilman uses great elements of literature in her short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. Her use of feminism and realism demonstrates how woman's thoughts and opinions were considered in the early 1900?s.
The theme of this story is feminism. Having gone through postpartum depression herself, Gilman?s story was strongly personal. During the time period that she wrote it, woman?s rights were limited. The character in this story felt she knew ways to recover herself from her depression, or ?baby blues?. Baby blues also known as postpartum depression is a form of severe depression after pregnancy delivery that requires treatment. Women may feel sadness, despair, anxiety, or irritability. The woman from the story wanted to get well and wanted to work. However, as a woman she was forbid by her husband to do this. Instead she was isolated from society, from being able to work, do the things she loved, or take care of her baby.
The Yellow Wallpaper was written as a realism story. It showed how woman felt they had the same opportunities as men in their personal choices. In this story, the woman expressed her worries to her husband who through good intentions, required that his wife stay in bed 24/7, and not do any of the things she would normally do. In effect his wife became worse until she reached the limit. The behavior of the husband at this time was completely normal. Men were the higher power over women and women, like the one in this story, felt that they couldn?t stand count for themselves.
What made this story even better was the fact that the author had gone through similar events. Especially since after it was published, Gilman?s own psychiatrist took a better look at the way he evaluated his patients. This story was written very well, clearly showing the difference between times now and when it was written. Charlotte Gilman did an extraordinary job on getting her point made.

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