Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays - Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper

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Schizophrenia in The Yellow Wallpaper

Throughout history people have always seemed to follow what notions that were considered "cool". Though I doubt that "cool" was the word used to describe these notions they were still there in some form or another. One of the greatest farces ever committed in the name of these popular perceptions was medicine. At that time, medicine that was on the cutting edge seem to have always involved some sort of noxious chemical or a typically atrocious diet. Not to mention the fact that ninety-nine percent of the doctors were men. Women's notions were immediately discounted on the bases of the preconception that women were not meant for such enlightened thoughts. No, men really knew what was best and women were meant to stand by what their husbands' said. This brings one particular husband to mind and how he was responsible for his wife going completely and utterly insane. His name is John and he is the husband to a woman who was diagnosed with a temporary nervous depression, meaning a slight hysterical tendency.

Through John's interference he turned what was considered a minor case of a chemical imbalance into to full blown schizophrenia. During the turn of the century, which is when this story took place, what scientists knew of the human mind wouldn't fill the inside of a matchbook. This was for certain the case when it was a woman who was the patient. If there was any deviation in the accepted behavior of a woman as deemed by society, the woman was considered hysterical. When dealing with these patients, instead of seriously considering the consequences of their actions, they went along with obscenely stupid notions on how to deal with problems of the mind.

The conventional course of action to take in the narrator's case was the one of nothing. I mean literally, nothing. For the narrator was considered hysterical and slightly depressed and there was only one course of action for such symptoms. That was one of complete rest. In those days the rest cure was very popular. It involved being set apart from anything that might have even the remotest possibility of stress in it. The main character of The Yellow Wallpaper was indeed set apart from all activity as directed by her husband. John dutifully followed the set path, not questioning any of the accepted methods.
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