Psychosis In The Yellow Wallpaper

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The Descent into Psychosis and The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman writes “The Yellow Wallpaper,” to show how women’s mental illness is addressed in the time. Women were treated as the lesser or weaker sex. Women’s mental illness was highly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” illustrates a feminist approach to mental disease. Gilman uses this work to reach out to others to help them understand a woman’s treacherous descent into depression and psychosis. There are many contributing factors to the narrator’s illness and it is easy to see the effect the men have on her. Women were treated very differently and often outcast if they did not meet a certain norm. Mental illness is one of the main factors men believe…show more content…
John is a physician, and he feels like he knows the best treatment for her depression. Even though he feels like there is nothing really wrong with her and constantly reminds her of this. The treatment ultimately is to be locked away in the old nursery with yellow wallpaper and bars on the windows. Loralee MacPike writes a piece titled “Environment as Psychopathological Symbolism in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’,” to illustrate the impact of setting and environment. MacPike makes the point that “The woman is legally a child; socially, economically, and philosophically she must be led by an adult—her husband; and therefore the nursery is an appropriate place to house her.” This is a very valid point showing that women are considered lesser and unequal to their male counterparts. MacPike is trying to trying to explain the male role in keeping the women oppressed and isolated. Because the narrator is suffering from postpartum depression, the old nursery is the perfect prison for her. The yellow wallpaper is just one more thing to push her over the edge. She was already suffering from postpartum depression and the isolation merely makes it worse. Postpartum depression already makes many feel very inadequate, so the isolation in a nursery just makes the narrator spiral more and more into
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