The initial factor that leads to the narrator’s following slip into the madness is John, her physician and husband. John’s definite dominant and highly respected figure generates a controlling relationship with her, taking away the narrator’s freedom even in the slightest aspect of her life. For instance, as simple as to write a journal, she is not able to do so because “John would thinks it’s absurd”(79). Her husband’s therapeutic process and opinions on how to handle and treat her mental sickness makes her not to trust her own thoughts doubting them instead, and restricts her to do anything in her will. At one point when the narrator tries to talk to John and said that she ”really was not gaining here” (80) and she “wished he would take [her] away”(80), he calms her by suggesting that she should not be having such worries and he replies “My darling, … There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours… Can you trust me as a physician when I tell you so?”(80).
The narrator knows that she is not too well and that John - her husband does not realize the intensity of her sickness, he ignores her continuous efforts to make him aware of the real situation and her suffering. To make the situation worse he imposes his opinions on her even when it comes to her health. This story shows us the life and the thoughts of the narrator which lead her to be free, but go out of her mind in the sense of the real world. This story is written as if the narrator is writing it. The narrator is sick and her husband has made her a study project, She is continuously watched and thus she has no privacy.
Furthermore, John continues to belittle his wife by giving her the command to not walk around at night. Although the John thinks in his mind that he is looking out for the best interest of his wife, in actuality, he is taking away his wife’s abilities to make choices for herself. There is a possibility that John’s controlling personality is one of the factors that led to his wife’s psychosis. Such a controlling life style more than likely limited the narrator’s ability to live any life outside of the home. Towards the end of the story, the narrator exclaims, “"I 've got out at last," said I, "in spite of you and Jane” (Gilman).
During the story he’s trying to cure her depression and doesn’t act much like her husband as he does her doctor. The struggle with social expectations and personal goals I would say is that the narrator doesn’t want to be social she wants to be free. I feel she’s trying to get out of the marriage with John. The temporary home John chooses to stay at is quite shocking. The room for his wife could be portrayed as a prison cell.
And what can one do? If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but the temporary nervous depression- a slight nervous tendency-what is one to do?” (Gilman, 55) this is the start to the fact that there is no communication she fails to say anything, but she does want, to get better but she states “personally I be... ... middle of paper ... ... that families can never be perfect and that there is always conflict in the households. In Responsibility James eventually “knew he wasn’t nice, he wasn’t a nice person, because all he wanted to do was to get out, get the hell out of there” he wanted what was best for him. There is nothing wrong but with the challenges at home he was ready for more for himself. In the Yellow wallpaper, eventually the narrator went insane being locked up in a room because her husband told her to, she states in the story, “I am getting angry enough to do something desperate.
The narrator is trying to talk to her husband and confess her feelings on her mental illness and the treatment that is she is forced to undergo and is patronized. At one point she begins discussing with her husband about the wallpaper that upsets her. One reading would expect her husband to openly listen to her concerns but instead he disregards her feelings and seems to make fun of the thoughts she has by belittling her. “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.”(647 Gilman), this excerpt is a perfect example of John putting down her thoughts and feelings and making her feel like she is a child. The loving wife justifies his remarks although they are condescending.
However, the storyteller protests that John, who is at the same time her husband and physician, does not take seriously both her depression, anxieties, and her own opinion regarding the treatment. Nevertheless, family doctors, as competent experts, should owe a duty of emotional as well as medical care to anybody who seek their help (medical Malpractice). John cares for his wife very much, however, he does not realize the opposite result of his therapy. Next, upsetting things such as the “rings and things” in the bedroom walls and the bars on the window appear in the narrator’s diary. She especially gets interrupted by the yellow wallpaper in the bedroom, with its strange, formless pattern.
John, though his intentions may be pure, easily slips into the role of the tyrannical male figure. Not only do his actions work to dominate and suppress the narrator, they actually contribute to her mental deterioration. When she relates her feelings to him concerning matters such as her room or her health, he dismisses her as if she were a child. In one scene, the narrator comes to her husband to request she be taken away from her environment and confesses that she is not “gaining” (232). However, John refuses her request, believing her to be a “little girl” who does not know better (232).
As a result, the narrator forcibly becomes completely passive and hides her fears in order to preserve the pretense of a happy marriage. Virtually, the narrator has no identity left because her role as mother and wife has been taken from her. The mental restraints placed on the narrator by John’s demeaning, authoritative ways, and the way he views her as only a homemaker not an imaginative thinker stifles her individuality and ultimately destroys her. In reality, John really does not know his wife, only superficially, and he treats her like a medical case instead of his loving
Moreover, the nursery that John recommends his wife to live in includes many confining elements. The bars on windows, bedstead nailed down, and a gate at the top of the stairs suggest an unsafe place. The narrator’s preference of living in the downstairs room is undermined by John’s control over her. Furthermore, John puts his wife into an environment with no communication, making her socially isolated. The protagonist is home alone most of the time while John is at work.