The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wall Paper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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When the only way out of a society based prison is to lose sense of all reality, then losing sense of reality it shall be. In the short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jane (the narrator) becomes obsessed with the wall-paper in her bedroom, which really is a prison that has been forced on her by her husband. Jane is an imaginative young lady who enjoys writing stories, however her husband forbids her to write. Jane is suffering from a nervous condition and her husband, who is also her doctor, feels he knows what is best to keep his wife from going mad. This leaves Jane trapped in a room with no imaginative outlet, surrounded by the god awful wall-paper that begins to close in on her sanity one day at a time. Jane (the narrator) is a women who is trapped in a time where women are subordinate to men, when postpartum was not understood, and when women where not allowed to show self-expression.
Jane is suffering from postpartum depression, which in the 1800’s was called nervous depression. In the short story we see this when Jane mentions “It is fortunate Mary is so good with the baby. Such a dear baby! and yet I cannot be with him, it makes me so nervous”. (Gilman 649) This shows that Jane’s nervous condition may be cause by the birth of her child. Jane knows something is not right with herself and she also feels that “congenial work, with excitement and change, would do her good” (Gilman 648), however her husband feels that the “Rest Cure” is what she needs to get better. It is evident that Jane does not trust her own instincts and follows exactly what her husband insist she does. If Jane would have followed her own instincts she may have been able to save herself, however by allowing her husba...


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...n of wall-paper, which will release her from her prison.
Jane is suffering from a nervous condition that is now know as postpartum depression, her obsession with the wall-paper and her husband’s lack of understanding for what she going through, drives her right in to a psychotic break. This short story was written in a time where women had very little control over their lives and the men seemed to think they know what was best for women. If Jane would have taken control of her illness like her instincts where telling her too, and not to be dominated by her husband, she may have been able to over come the postpartum depression and not gone mad. However, her going mad was a release from the prison that he husband had place her in, as she released the women from the wall-paper she released herself from her prison built my society where men controlled their women.

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