Gender And Pathology In The Yellow Wallpaper By John Gilman

1205 Words5 Pages
The Yellow Wallpaper is a very unique and odd story. In the first read through of the story, the reader is aware that the narrator is sick and losing her mind. Over the course of the story it becomes apparent that the treatment used to heal the narrator isn’t effective. As she begins to completely lose her mind the reader gets a glimpse into her mind. She believes that she is trapped inside of the wallpaper, and by ripping it off the wall she can escape. There are several topics that seem to occur in this story. These topics include Feminism, the role of women in the 1880’s period, and knowledge and understanding of mentally ill. Although these are some of the main points in the story, The Yellow Wallpaper has several topics that are direct…show more content…
These critics pick apart the story and view other works by Gilman to compare and contrast the differences in her works. In the first critical review, “Gender and Pathology in The Yellow Wallpaper” Juliann Fleenor states that Gilman struggled with the concepts of being a mother, motherhood, and with creation as well. In Fleenor’s comparison to the stories he states how in all the stories the home is their prison, insane asylum, and often their death place. In the story Fleenor also points out how Gilman is disgusted, awed, and frightened of her own body functions. He believes that a major theme of the story involves punishment of becoming a mother. This is supported by the absence of the child in the story (Fleenor 450-451). Her punishment of being a mother is a perfect example of an indirect topic that Gilman uses in her story. The reader may overlook this if the critic wouldn’t have broken it…show more content…
Treichler. In Treichler’s critique, “Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper” she examines the full story and breaks down pieces of Gilman’s work. She explains that the wallpaper occupies the narrator’s entire existence and that its true meaning is revealed when the narrator starts ripping it. Treichler explains that that the story’s central issue is between woman and language (61-63). This is shown in the story as the narrator is forced to put down pen and paper, separated from all communication, and unable to work. Treichler also points out how Gilman uses Weir Mitchell in the story to show the world outside of her story.(68) Gilman does this so that he may reconsider his treatment and work on a way to fix it. Treichler shows the readers the main issue that the narrator goes through that an inexperienced reader may
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