The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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In the late 1800 's; confinement, deprivation, isolation, and restriction, also known as: the rest cure, was a medically approved practice for certain psychological conditions. In today 's society, it would be considered abusive, unless you were an inhabitant of a correctional facility, If that was the case it would be defined as punishment. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's “The Yellow Wallpaper” readers make the acquaintance of a woman who has been prescribed the rest cure, for what her physician husband describes as a nervous condition. She and her husband have settled into a temporary estate for the summer, in the hopes that rest, fresh air, and restriction of stimulus will make her well again. Through her journal, readers follow the character on her journey into madness. A spiral which begins when her overactive imagination seeks escape in the grotesque pattern of the yellow wallpaper on her bedroom walls. Although the woman can feel herself hanging off the edge, her cries for help are trivialized by a dismissive husband who 's self assured ways merely serve to stomp the fingers of her gripping hands. Coupled with a lack of stimulation and an overactive imagination, the arrogance filled mistreatment she receives from the man that claims to love her creates a toxic concoction potent enough to seal her fate.
Throughout the story Gilman 's main character, the narrator, experiences a complete lack of mental stimulation. She is “forbidden to work”, and every time she writes, she has to do so in secret lest she be met with opposition from her husband or his relatives. When John 's sister comes to visit and she hears her coming up the stairs, she tucks the journal away until she can find a moment to write again. “I did write for a whi...


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...ctive imagination that provided her a sense of relief in childhood, eventually led to her breaking loose from reality. Finally, her arrogant and well-meaning husband refused to admit what was right in front of him, and though she begged for rescue, he was deaf to her cries. The most interesting part in all of this was that she was keenly aware of what was happening to her. She could feel her mind as it was beginning to warp. The only reason she ended up where she did was because she did not have the autonomy she needed to adjust her circumstances. In a different time, she could have packed up her bags and left. She could have gotten a second opinion on her condition. She could have called a decorator and replaced that wallpaper while her husband was a work. It is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, at least when it comes to keeping yourself sane.

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