She feels constricted by her husband to speak freely and writes in a hidden journal. Gilman writes “I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind” (808). Sad and true, but she doesn’t feel that she can tell her husband how she really feels and “the only safe language is dead language” (Theichler 61). The language of male judgment and control is predominant in the beginning of the story too. Her husband and brother both are physicians, diagnose her with a nervous condition, and both believe she will be fine with medicine and rest.
After she was diagnosed with depression and has to stop her daily routine, the narrator represents her as the women trapped behind the wallpaper. In the article Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” A Surrealistic Portrayal of a Woman’s Arrested Development says that after her depression in 1890, she “transferred her own life experience into a poignant account of a woman’s decline into madness” (Hall 4). Gilman wanted to share her vivid experience with other women. In The Yellow Wallpaper says “the woman behind it is as plain as can be”(Gilman). This particular abstract of the story shows that the narrator reflects the woman as “plain” which mean as simple as she could
Her days are spent bedridden after an unknown trauma forces her husband to prescribe “rest cures” as the antidote. During this time period, women were dehumanized to an object that was to be seen and not heard. Resistance during this era was futile, so whatever a man deemed worthy of a woman’s doing, she permitted to do so. “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assure friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency- what one to do?” (Gilman 126) Although nothing is specifically identified in the story, this woman is suffering from post-partum depression and delirium. There is no baby to be found in the story, so one may assume a miscarriage or a stillborn death.
Dialogue, narration, and symbolism are being used by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s in her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” to show that women with mental health problems are not taken serious. Throughout the story, readers are shown how the woman with postpartum depression is not treated properly for her condition and she is driven into madness. Gilman wants readers to realize this woman needed help but because she was not taken seriously, she ended up worse in the
In 1892 Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a short story known as, “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The story is based on how society treated and viewed females during the late 19th century. It involves an unknown female narrator that is believed to be suffering from temporary nervous depression. The story is conveyed through a biased first person point of view because it presented through the narrators personal diary. In order to treat and cure her from this acute form of depression the narrators physician husband John prescribes her the, “rest-cure”.
She valued self-expression in which inspired her story, The Yellow Wallpaper, it is said to be a “…painful episode in Gilman’s own life,” (Spark Notes). It is important to take into account the background of the author. Gilman, was once a married woman with a newborn child. Gilman suffered from “…severe and continuous nervous breakdowns tending to melancholia—and beyond,” (258). In her, Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Gilman, goes into depth about her experience with the rest cure invented by, Weir Mitchell.
As the reader delves into the narrative, a progression can be seen from the normality the narrator displays early in the passage, to the insanity she demonstrates near the conclusion. As the story begins, the narrator's compliance with her role as a submissive woman is easily seen. She states, "John laughs at me, but one expects that in marriage" (Gilman 577). These words clearly illustrate the male's position of power in a marriage t... ... middle of paper ... ..., Gilman acknowledges the fact that much work is needed to overcome the years of injustice. Through the concluding scenes where the narrator goes into her mental illness rebellion, Gilman encourages women to do what they can to stand up for themselves.
This treatment confines her to her room upstairs. She is also required to have plenty of bed rest and is restricted from people and stimulation. However, one can say that such instructions will cause the illness to continue because of a lack of activity, isolation from the outside world, especially family members. It appears the woman in the story wants to ... ... middle of paper ... ...rld and the woman represents her. Ultimately, John’s wife concludes that her only escape from the room is to tear down the wallpaper.
The information about the family relations between the woman and her husband, John, are interwoven ... ... middle of paper ... ...ilar nervous breakdown. As she declares, however, this wallpaper actually saved her from her illness. In her visions from the wallpaper she discerned her own imprisoned mind trying to escape the bars that her husband has imposed on her. No matter how disconnected and how irrational this plot may seem after the first reading, it is a perfectly constructed symbolic recount of the unnoticed changes that take place in people s minds rather in their explicit actions. Thus through a system of symbols with constant connotations, the author conveys a detailed description of her recovery from the realization of her state to the open act of opposition against her husband.
The story begins with the nameless female narrator describing her current mental problems and her doctor husband’s decision to treat her with a “rest cure” – now she moves to another room and does not leave it, having nothing to do but to write this diary. Her sentences are overflowed with “but’s” and multiple references to the patriarchal system of that day’s society. From the very first page the author throws in “wrong” marriage associations (“John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage” (Gilman 589)), focuses on the heroine’s helplessness (“You see he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?” (Gilman 589)), suspects some great male conspiracy (“My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing” (Gilman 589)) and defines “wrong” female interests (“So I will let it alone and talk about the house” (Gilman 589)). Those are not even little hints, but huge light-bulb signs attacking the reader!