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Yellow Wallpaper

Satisfactory Essays
The Yellow Wallpaper

What would you do if your wife or your relative had postpartum depression after giving birth to her child? Would you try to help her by talking to her, or by taking her to a psychologist, or would you lock her in a house where she has no one to talk to and doesn’t get any professional help? Postpartum depression is a type of depression that occurs within three months following childbirth and symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, marked illogical thought, thinking of suicide, and fear of hurting the baby (Dictionary of Psychology 551). Recent research shows that postpartum depression affects 10 percent of women in the months following the birth of a child (Depression Statistics: Women Fact Information).

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, –who’s also been through postpartum depression- (Gilman 366), is a fictional story about a woman, who actually has postpartum depression but, unfortunately, is misdiagnosed by her physician husband and brother (367). Therefore, because she is misdiagnosed and doesn’t actually have “temporary nervous depression” as her husband and brother says (367), the treatment that her husband and brother give her is a wrong treatment technique (leaving her alone, not letting her do anything but rest, not letting her talk about her condition, etc…), which at the end causes her to go totally insane, even though in the beginning she shows no signs of insanity. It is fundamental to understand two of the characters, the theme, and the setting of the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, in order to achieve a deeper understanding and a greater enjoyment of the story and to figure out what the author is trying to indicate to the readers.

It would be tough to appreciate the story and the theme of the story if there was not enough information about the two most important characters: John (the husband) and the new mom who is going through postpartum depression. One of the main characters is John, the husband of the new mom. Even though he doesn’t appear that much in the story, his existence is important for the story since he is one of the people, actually, the person who is responsible for his wife’s insanity at the end. John is a physician, but even though he is a physician, he misdiagnoses his own wife’s psychological problem (Gilman 367).

Actually, it is normal for him to misdiagnose it, since he is not a psychologist.
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