The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In 1892 Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a short story called the The Yellow Wallpaper. The story is told from a first person viewpoint, as the speaker writes within her journal. One of the themes in the story is a husband trying to deal with his wife’s mental illness. The speaker is a woman that is suffering from post-partum depression after recently having a child. During a summer vacation her husband, John, makes her stay in an upstairs room because of her mental state. John believes that keeping her in this room relieves stress within her mind. The speaker begins to develop psychosis because she has no mental stimulation other than her journal. She begins to obsess over the yellow wallpaper on the wall, the only visually stimulating thing within the room. She begins to think that another woman is watching her from behind the wallpaper, trying to break free. The speaker begins to rip off pieces of the wallpaper to save the trapped mysterious woman. The summer is coming to a close and the day has come to exit the mansion. The speaker, once wanting freedom from the upstairs room, locks herself within as she rips the rest of the wallpaper off the wall. John, distraught, finds the key and walks into the room and see his wife walks around the room. He passes out as she screams, "I 've got out at last...And I 've pulled off most of the paper, so you can 't put me back!" The speaker, delusional, continues to walk her path around the room walking over her unconscious husband as if he wasn 't even there. This story is an example of how mental illness would have been treated in the 19th century. Throughout different time periods mental health has been treated differently. Psychology dates back to 387 BC when Plato suggested that th... ... middle of paper ... ... 21st century information is spread very quickly which causes people to learn things really fast. Comedy shows often make light of the issues a celebrity is going through as a form of entertainment. Recently comedian Robin Williams committed suicide after suffering from depression. Many people showed sympathy towards him & his family. However recently Amanda Bynes, a child star, has been suffering from schizophrenia and has been made fun of constantly. The majority of people don’t see mental illness as a problem unless someone dies as a result of it. In the end the treatment of mental illness has varied throughout history. Today people with a mental illness are accepted more by society and have more resources that will help them. We as humans are constantly learning more about the human mind and how it works. Will humans ever find a cure to every mental illness?
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