There are more reported cases of clinical depression in women than their are in men. There is also, generalized in western cultures, a stereotype that women are fragile and should be more dedicated to maintaining the home, doing feminine things, that they shouldn't work, and be discouraged from intellectual thinking. In the Victorian period (1837-1901) aside from women's suffragette movements the Victorian woman usually upheld this stereotype of a well behaved wife, more or less a possession then an individual. However, there were a few who defied the odds and took it to heart to let the world know about the indifference's that they went through. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, feminist, was one of these women who used her writing to express the differences and hardships women went through. One of her more famous works, the Yellow Wallpaper, is known as both a feminist piece and a depiction of Victorian life and indifferences for women. It is a piece that can have controversial meanings that can be taken to heart to why Gilman ever wrote it.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" has a simple enough story, the woman is taken to a rented house to recover from a nervous depression that she was experiencing. The depression was something common in women of the time, especially in more upper class women with little to do. The antidote " the cure" was developed by a Weir Mitchell, for psychoneurosies, in theory a women should inhibit herself from any kind of work or thinking and to get as much fresh air as possible. The heroine is subjected to this cure. Having been confined to a room in the house she starts imagining things in the wallpaper that she hates so much. However, as the story progresses it i...
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...it to show that kind of diversity. She probably wanted a release, to share her life, to get back at the Wier Cure, to show the injustice brought to women of the period and to probably just be creative. In finding reviews and biographies on Gilman one does not find too many bad words written on her. She is held as a very prestigious writer. As for the yellow wallpaper it really expands the minds and makes one have to sit back and analyze what was really going on.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Why I Wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper"? http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/ daniel/amlit/wallpaper/Whywrote.html
Korb, Rena. An Overview of "The Yellow Wallpgper," in Exploring Short Stories Literature Resource Center. Gale Research, 1998.
Stone, Les. Charlotte (Anna) Perkins (Stetson) Gilman. Contemporary A uthors Online. The Gale Group, 2000.
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