Women In The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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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.

Gilman uses dialogue to make readers understand women’s health is not taken seriously. One
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The narrator in the story is the woman with postpartum depression, and as she is slipping away from reality she starts to become an unreliable source. The woman starts assuming the situation that she has no tangible evidence. “No wonder the children hated it!” she talks as if children really did stay in the room with the yellow wallpaper, and she knows they hated the room for a fact (Gilman 419). The woman also starts to say that those same children made marks such as the “smooch” and the “bedstead is fairly gnawed” (Gilman 425-427). She wonders what has happened to make those marks, but the narrator soon reveals that she “can creep smoothly on the floor, and her shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall…” and “I got angry so I bit off a little piece at one corner” (Gilman 427-428). The woman is making these marks because she is not getting the treatment she needs and it is driving her mad to the point she is forgetting her own slips of insanity. Women still find it hard to get the treatment they need. Medication for depression is high-priced and doctors disregard women’s remarks of being depressed as the woman’s husband did…show more content…
The “woman” behind the wallpaper is a symbol of women being trapped by mental health. The narrator even says she is the woman who is trapped behind the wallpaper. The woman the describes the wallpaper as a prison, she says, “…worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!” (Gilman 426). Gilman is trying to show readers that women have no say in what happens to them when they have mental health problems. The narrator says “Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.” she knows what she needs but no will believe her. Because of no one listening to her about her condition she eventually gives in and has no control over her life or treatment. Today women have zero control over whether they can get mental help. It is still up to a physician if a patient can get the treatment he or she needs.

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
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