“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story that surrounds many different topics. The narrator is living in a time period where women were looked down upon and mental illnesses were misunderstood. The narrator of the story suffers from post-partum depression and is recording her journey in a journal. Her husband, the typical man at the time, put her on “the rest cure,” as he believed that mental illnesses should be treated like physical illnesses. He brings her to a house far away from other people and makes her stay in the nursery.
She then begins to creep around the room, rubbing against t... ... middle of paper ... ...aper” was probably a shock for many people of this time period. Society viewed women who wanted to express their ideas of a culture in which women had rights, as hysterical. Gilman was even treated by a physician because she had become depressed by her lack of opportunities in society. Women were thrown into a state of depression because they thought their lives were lacking an important aspect. Gilman was able to express her thoughts and emotions, and in doing so, she made great strives to bring to light the oppressions that women were facing during this time.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a renowned feminist and author, was one of the women affected with "...a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia..," which was commonly termed as "neurasthenia" (Gilman, 348-349). However, rather than cure her, Mitchell's "rest cure" nearly drove her insane. As a result of her maddening experience away from writing and almost all intellectual thought, she wrote her short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper" not "...to drive people crazy," but instead to "...save people from being driven crazy" (Gilman, 349). Although her purpose in writing the story is clear, one can not help but wonder if she was motivated solely by her protest to nineteenth century medical practice or by her protest to the legal and socia... ... middle of paper ... ... Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1998.
The Yellow Paper is a symbolic story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is a disheartening tale of a woman struggling to free herself from postpartum depression. This story gives an account of an emotionally and intellectual deteriorated woman who is a wife and a mother who is struggling to break free from her metal prison and find peace. The post-partum depression forced her to look for a neurologist doctor who gives a rest cure. She was supposed to have a strict bed rest.
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman suffering from postpartum depression is prescribed a “rest cure”. She is forced to stay in a room with yellow wallpaper which She says is “committing every artistic sin” (Gilman 419). The woman convinces herself that there is a woman trapped in the yellow wallpaper, and it is her job to free and catch her. She begins to mix reality with fantasy and she unknowingly becomes suicidal and drives herself mad. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” uses dialogue, narration, and symbolism to show that women are not taken seriously when it comes to mental health.
"The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, depicts a woman in isolation, struggling to cope with mental illness, which has been diagnosed by her husband, a physician. Going beyond this surface level, the reader sees the narrator as a developing feminist, struggling with the societal values of the time. As a woman writer in the late nineteenth century, Gilman herself felt the adverse effects of the male-centric society, and consequently, placed many allusions to her own personal struggles as a feminist in her writing. Throughout the story, the narrator undergoes a psychological journey that correlates with the advancement of her mental condition. The restrictions which society places on her as a woman have a worsening effect on her until illness progresses into hysteria.
Repression of Women Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper The short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman gives a brilliant description of the plight of the Victorian woman, and the mental agony that her and many other women were put through as "treatment" for depression when they found that they were not satisfied by the life they had been given. In the late nineteenth century when the Yellow Wallpaper was written, the role of wife and mother, which women were expected to adopt, often led to depression or a so-called "hysteria". Women of this period were living in a patriarchal society where they were expected to be demure and passive, supportive yet unquestioning of their husbands, and good mothers to their husband's children. The conflict for women in the society thus became a question of how to be all of these things while still conserving herself as a person and most importantly, conserving her sanity (Wagner-Martin 51). In this Victorian society "the boredom and confinement of affluent women fostered a morbid cult of hypochondria - 'female invalidism'"- where it became popular and even appropriate for women to fall into bed at the slightest provocation with a "sick headache" or "nerves" (Ehrenreich 92-93).
424-36. Hume, Beverly A. “Gilman’s Interminable Grotesque’: The Narrator of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Studies in Short Fiction 28.4 (1991):477-84. Johnson, Greg. “Gilman’s Gothic Allegory: Rage and Redemption in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Studies in Short Fiction 26.4 (1989):521-30.
The Yellow Wallpaper. [New York]: Feminist, 1973. Print. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper”.
She write... ... middle of paper ... ... help her vision the side of her that is pleading for control over her own life. According to Hall, as the narrator’s “madness intensifies, she identifies herself with the trapped woman until subject-object relations become confused: the two women become one”. Gilman incorporated the feminist perspective in her writing by using Jane’s struggles to speak for many women who also did not have a voice. Works Cited Abcarian, Richard and Marvin Klotz. Literature The Human Experience.