Charlotte Perkins Gilman's, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a partial
autobiography. It was written shortly after the author suffered a
nervous breakdown. This story was written to help save people from
being driven crazy. Appropriately, this short story is about a
mentally disturbed woman and her husband's attempts to help her get
well. He does so by convincing her that solitude and constant bed rest
is the best way to cure her problem. She is not allowed to write or do
anything that would require thinking. The woman is restricted to a
room where she slowly begins to go insane. Atrocious yellow wallpaper
covers this room and it aids in her insanity. The woman is writing the
story to express her insane thoughts against her husband's will.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" begins with the narrator talking about her
illness. She informs the reader that her husband, John, is a physician
and he believes she is not even sick. This may lead the reader to
believe that she really is not sick also. She even says herself "I am
glad my case is not serious!" It is revealed soon that she is writing
this story to us, the readers, in secret. She feels comfortable
writing on the paper and it relieves her. In the story she says, "I
would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper
and a great relief to my mind." This gives the reader and the narrator
a very strong connection. For the reader is the only one to know her
Throughout the entire story, John controls his wife in a loving but
dominant way. According to him, he knows what is best for her. There
is even a time where ...
... middle of paper ...
...pressing herself and her story of insanity.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" presents readers with story of a woman's
insanity. It tells how women were disregarded at times and treated
like frail children at others. Ultimately, Jane realized that she held
control over her own life. It was her responsibility to relieve her
stress and tell her story. This is a story of seclusion and escape.
"The Yellow Wallpaper," being highly autobiographical for Charlotte
Perkins Gilman, was written shortly after her own nervous breakdown.
The story is part reality for her and part fiction focusing on the
treatment that Dr. S. Weir Mitchell enforced upon her which was rest,
seclusion, and absolutely no writing, which is what she loved the
most. Her story is a stepping-stone in helping to understand
depression, liberating women, and expression.
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