The Yellow Wallpaper Although on the surface The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story about one woman’s struggles with sanity it is not. In truth, it is a story about the dominant/submissive relationship between an oppressive husband and his submissive wife. The husband, John, pushes his wife’s depression to a point quite close to insanity. The narrator seems to destroy herself through her overactive imagination and her urge to write. When they arrive she seems well in control of her faculties, but by the time they are readying for departure, she has broken down.
Known to most as the "Baby Blues" a mild depression that if continues can be come something much more powerful and even more dangerous. In some women they may experience psychosis, where in some cases they try to kill their children. Contrary to enormous amounts of research, there is still no medical report on what causes the disorder or how it can be treated. "Having grown up expecting mother hood to be one of the best times of your life, many women suffer alone, feeling miserable, but unaware that postpartum mood disorder has a name." Karen Klieman, M.S.W., founder and director of the Postpartum Stress Center in Philadelphia.
However, this ‘mental disorder’ is only a way that the narrator actively rebels against society and how patriarchy has restricted her into becoming a heap of insecure thoughts. In the introduction of the story the unnamed narrator describes her ‘illness’ and the ‘conditions’ she faces, however through the analysis of her writing she begins to reveal the oppression that she is forced to submit to. Much of the protagonist’s oppression comes from her husband, as he does not believe she is sick at all. Because she is timid and is subdued by her spouse she believes, like the rest of society, that a male’s qualifications can automatically make him right. The narrator tends to question her husband’s view, but then covers it up with his credentials in her private journal entries, “You see he does not believe I am sick!
Likewise, In the yellow wallpaper, the narrator talks about her authoritative husband. Gilman starts the story by introducing the two main characters of the story John and Jane, the narrator. The narrator is mentally unstable. He forces her to visit the doctor, who wants to say no but couldn’t resist. He doesn’t believe she is sick and he talks about the treatment she says “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus (Gilman).” She disagrees with the treatment yet she doesn’t have any choice other than listening to her husband and her opinions doesn’t really matter.
Her identity of a wife and mother is stifled through the work of her husband and sister in law. Both John and his sister Jennie, do not want her to think about her condition, however that is the only thing she is able to think about. She had given birth to her baby a short time before moving into the house with the yellow wallpaper. Perhaps she suffered from postpartum depression, however not much was known about this during these times. If she had gotten proper treatment for her depression, maybe she would have overcome her illness.
The character of the husband, John, in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is introduced as a respected physician and a caring husband who strives to improve the mental health of his wife, the narrator, who is diagnosed with temporary nervous condition. John tries throughout the story to apply professional treatment methods and medications in his approach to helping his wife gain strength. However, his patient, his wife, seems to disregard John’s professional opinions and act as if she is following his advices only during his awakening presence with her. The narrator seems to be in need of John’s positive opinion about the status of her mental condition in order to avoid the criticism even though she disagrees with his treatment methodology. John, without doubt, cares for his wife and her wellbeing, but he does not realize how his treatment method negatively impacts their relationship his wife’s progress towards gaining strength.
This makes him an extremely credible witness to what is going on. John and the narrator’s brother are Physicians which both have diagnosed her with a form of mental instability, which they believe is temporary. Unfortunately, John like most physicians of his time believes the best medicine is seclusion, which becomes are narrators worst enemy. Just because he mistreats her illness doesn’t mean John misdiagnoses her. In a world where treatments for mental illness ranges from exorcism to electroshock therapy our narrator is lucky it wasn’t a few years later where John might have had her lov... ... middle of paper ... ...he says can be taken at face value.
In The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, was mainly about this women who was suffering from Nervous Condition and Depression. Jane felt unease in the house. Her husband was a Physician and he kept telling her that nothing was wrong with her, but she felt like something was wrong in her mind. She told her husband that the wallpaper was ugly in the house and she wanted to change the wallpaper. He went on to say that she was over reacting.
In the late 1800s, a lot was not known about mental illnesses and due to this the unnamed narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper suffers from this ignorance. The Yellow Wallpaper was written by Charlotte Perkins Stetson in 1891 for the New England Magazine as the author had suffer from a similar situation as the story’s narrator. In the short story, we are introduced to an unnamed woman who seems to be suffering from some sort of mental illness. The narrator's husband, who is a physician, forces her to do nothing to try and help her condition, but ironically this has the opposite effect on the narrator's condition. The narrator is driven slowly mad by a yellow wallpaper in her room which instead of helping her condition it makes things worse.
Because her husband, John, does not take her illness seriously and neglects to get her out of the house, her mind cannot take it and she loses her sanity. It should be clear to the reader, since she thinks she and the imaginary woman has worked together to pull the wallpaper down that she believes the women in the yellow wallpaper and she are both trapped and are both working together to escape. (200) Likewise, when she tells John, “I got out at last”, and, “in spite of you and jane! And I pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back”, By her saying this to John tells you she thinks she is free, because she has torn down the yellow wallpaper. She is no longer saying anything about a woman being in the wallpaper, because in her mind, she is now the