In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, a woman suffering from postpartum depression is prescribed a “rest cure”. She is forced to stay in a room with yellow wallpaper which She says is “committing every artistic sin” (Gilman 419). The woman convinces herself that there is a woman trapped in the yellow wallpaper, and it is her job to free and catch her. She begins to mix reality with fantasy and she unknowingly becomes suicidal and drives herself mad. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” uses dialogue, narration, and symbolism to show that women are not taken seriously when it comes to mental health.
Once her husband, John, realizes the deepness of depression that his wife is in due to her birth of their child he decides to take action. He decides to isolate his wife from the world for her own betterment. Once arriving in her newfound place of isolation where there is no stimulation, except for her journal, the narrator is placed within a room that is lined with yellow wallpaper. This yellow room is meant to free her from any stresses, but her dislike for the wallpaper concerns her. The pattern of yellow begins to become more of an obsession, being this is her only stimulation due to her confinement.
The wallpaper that she believes John has imprisoned her. By tearing it down, the narrator asserts her own identity, which unfortunately by now is confused. As she crawls around the room, she is initiating the first stage of a feminist uprising.
She begins to imagine a woman behind bars in the paper. Finally, she loses her sanity and believes that she is the woman in the wallpaper, trying to escape. In "The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses setting and symbolism to suggest that imprisoning oppression causes a type of loneliness (in women) that can lead to a deadly form of insanity. Gilman uses setting to suggest that imprisoning oppression causes a type of loneliness that can lead to insanity. Gilman's young mother describes the nursery bedroom "with windows that ... [are] barred for little children" (426).
This gender division meritoriously kept women in a childlike state of obliviousness and prevented them from reaching any scholastic or professional goals. John, the narrator’s husband, establishes a treatment for his wife through the assumption of his own superior wisdom and maturity. This narrow minded thinking leads him to patronize and control his wife, all in the name of “helping her”. The narrator soon begins to feel suffocated as she is “physically and emotionally trapped by her husband” (Korb). The narrator has zero control in the smallest details of her life and is consequently forced to retreat into her fantasies... ... middle of paper ... ...at the narrator will possibly be physically restrained or imprisoned at some point when her husband regains consciousness.
By the end of the story she actually thinks she is the woman who had been trapped in the wallpaper and has finally escaped from it. In Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator seems trapped both mentally and physically. Her husband, John, keeping her away from others because of her nervous condition is one cause of her feeling trapped
Gilman stated, “What is it little girl” (478)! The narrator stated, “Felt trapped in her body and trapped in her life "Bless her little heart" (Gilman 478)! The narrator lives in a world where her spouse made choices for her on how she would be cured of her illness. Gilman is suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth to their child. However, he did not make his wife feel better, which is why they visit there for, he just makes his wife feel worse with so much guilt on her.
In order to cure her "temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency" (Gilman 833) she is advised to do no work and to never to even think of her condition. This is the advice of her husband John who also fills the role as her physician. This response to mental instability is important to Gilman's own agenda. In being under the care of her own husband the narrator takes on the role of his inferior. She is even deemed with child-like affections such as "little girl" (Gilman 838) and her very place of confinement is a nursery.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1892 gothic and horror short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” traces the mental decline of a woman while undergoing a “rest cure”. This captivating story illustrates the stifling plight of the protagonist in a patriarchal society. Her husband, John, a physician, has taken the narrator, a new mother, to a rented country home for the summer in order for her to recover from postpartum psychosis. He isolates her in an upstairs nursery, a room with barred windows, a nailed down bed, and odious yellow wallpaper, and forbids her to write, in accordance with the philosophy of the “rest cure”. Although the constraints placed on the protagonist proved to be repressive, it leads her to an intriguingly dangerous obsession with “the yellow wallpaper” that causes her to triumph over societal oppression and constraints within her marriage, giving her a heroic identity.
The narrator confides in “dead language” (Treichler) as a source to freely express herself from the captivity placed upon her from her husband in an attempt to cure her condition of temporary nervous depression. The dead language represents writing in the journal for the narrator of the story. It is considered dead as she must be secretive about it for the fear of her husband John finding her writing as “he hates to have [her] write a single word” (Gilman). The woman is forbidden to work as a result of her husband’s treatment for her condition. He does not want her practicing discourse as he believes she is sick and her treatment is to be alienated from work, life, and writing to cure her condition.