The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In the last half of the 19th Century, through the early 20th
Century, was a movement that many have all but forgotten. Gone and nearly
forgotten was a quiet revolution, of sorts, that liberated women from not
only the psychological oppressions they faced, but also to have equal
rights. The movement is known as Women’s Suffrage. Thanks to authors such
as Calum Kerr, whose literary analyses known as, “Literary Contexts in
Short Stories: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, many will
not forget the challenges women faced. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, portrays a woman suffering from a mild
psychological disorder, known today as Postpartum Depression. The title of
the story is befitting as it shows the psychological oppression the main
character, whose name was never revealed, dealt with from her husband and
the controversial treatment she was prescribed. She was brought to an
abandoned stately manor for rest and relaxation over the course of a summer
by doctor’s orders. The doctor just happened to also be her husband. He
prescribed her a psychological treatment known as “the rest cure.” Rest and
relaxation, however, was not what she received. She spends her days
obsessing with the wallpaper in which she was immediately repulsed by. Her
obsession with the wallpaper’s pattern and putrid color of yellow turns a
mild case of depression into a pronounced state of hysteria.



“The Yellow Wallpaper” was published in 1892. It was welcomed with dismal
reviews. “The Atlantic Monthly” magazine rejected the story saying, “it was
enough to make the reader miserable.” (Kerr) Such criticisms prove how
little acceptance women faced during that period. The intellect of women
s...


... middle of paper ...


... from depression
brought on by the treatment itself. In 1935, she met her untimely death by
committing suicide. Having lived through the liberation of women’s rights
and the freedom of oppression, she still lived with the horror of the
societal confinements of women during her time. Its with her stories, such
as “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and her autobiography, we can understand how
significant such oppressions on people can be.

Authors such as, Kerr, analyzing such literature helps people of today to
remember, not only America’s history, but to realize how oppression is
nothing more than a form of slavery. Studying literary works of the past
allows us to learn from our past. By learning our history through
literature, we stand the ability to not repeat such horrors found in the
dark chapters of America. Lest we forget, history will only repeat itself.


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